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Hayek's challenge : an intellectual biography of F.A. Hayek / Bruce Caldwell

Main Author Caldwell, Bruce, 1952- Secondary Author Hayek, F. A., 1899-1992 Country Estados Unidos. Publication Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004 Description XI, 489 p. ; 24 cm ISBN 0-226-09191-0 CDU 19 HAYEK
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Monografia Biblioteca Geral da Universidade do Minho
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Friedrich A. Hayek is regarded as one of the preeminent economic theorists of the twentieth century, as much for his work outside of economics as for his work within it. During a career spanning several decades, he made contributions in fields as diverse as psychology, political philosophy, the history of ideas, and the methodology of the social sciences. Bruce Caldwell--editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek --understands Hayek's thought like few others, and with this book he offers us the first full intellectual biography of this pivotal social theorist.

Caldwell begins by providing the necessary background for understanding Hayek's thought, tracing the emergence, in fin-de-siècle Vienna, of the Austrian school of economics--a distinctive analysis forged in the midst of contending schools of thought. In the second part of the book, Caldwell follows the path by which Hayek, beginning from the standard Austrian assumptions, gradually developed his unique perspective on not only economics but a broad range of social phenomena. In the third part, Caldwell offers both an assessment of Hayek's arguments and, in an epilogue, an insightful estimation of how Hayek's insights can help us to clarify and reexamine changes in the field of economics during the twentieth century.

As Hayek's ideas matured, he became increasingly critical of developments within mainstream economics: his works grew increasingly contrarian and evolved in striking--and sometimes seemingly contradictory--ways. Caldwell is ideally suited to explain the complex evolution of Hayek's thought, and his analysis here is nothing short of brilliant, impressively situating Hayek in a broader intellectual context, unpacking the often difficult turns in his thinking, and showing how his economic ideas came to inform his ideas on the other social sciences.

Hayek's Challenge will be received as one of the most important works published on this thinker in recent decades.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Acknowledgments (p. ix)
  • Introduction (p. 1)
  • I. The Austrian School and Its Opponents--Historicists, Socialists, and Positivists
  • 1. Menger's Principles of Economics (p. 17)
  • 2. The German Historical School (p. 39)
  • 3. The Methodenstreit (p. 64)
  • 4. Max Weber and the Decline of the Historical School (p. 83)
  • 5. Positivism and Socialism (p. 100)
  • II. Hayek's Journey
  • 6. Hayek in Vienna (p. 133)
  • 7. Monetary Theory and Methodology (p. 150)
  • 8. Hayek at the London School of Economics (p. 165)
  • 9. Some Methodological Debates of the 1930s (p. 182)
  • 10. "Economics and Knowledge" and Hayek's Transformation (p. 205)
  • 11. The Abuse of Reason Project (p. 232)
  • 12. Individualism and the Sensory Order (p. 261)
  • 13. Rules, Orders, and Evolution (p. 288)
  • III. Hayek's Challenge
  • 14. Journey's End--Hayek's Multiple Legacies (p. 323)
  • 15. Epilogue: A Meditation on Twentieth-Century Economics (p. 370)
  • Appendixes (p. 407)
  • Bibliography (p. 439)
  • Index (p. 473)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


A controversial figure, Hayek has spawned a burgeoning literature, often expressing polarized, jargon-laden views. This accessible introduction to Hayek's intellectual life and times is a refreshing exception. The book first sketches the intellectual landscape in turn of the century Germany and Austria. Accounts of the German Historical School, the birth of Austrian economics, the Methodenstreit, and the rise of positivism should interest even those unconcerned with Hayek's journey. Subsequent coverage of Hayek's accomplishments is selective. Caldwell (Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro), best known for his work in economic methodology, plays to his strengths. He focuses on Hayek's significance in the methodological debates of the 1930s, his relationships with Robbins and Mises, and the importance of his 1937 article "Economics and Knowledge." The terrain becomes more difficult as Hayek moves beyond economics into political theory and psychology. Within Hayek's "abuse of reason project," Caldwell focuses on Hayek's critique of scientific methods in "Scientism and the Study of Society" (1942-44) and "Individualism: True and False" (1946) rather than the popular polemic The Road to Serfdom (1944). His selective survey of later works is less engaging. Closing chapters offer a generally sympathetic interpretation of Hayek's legacy. Likely to be a major work in the field. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Public and academic library collections, lower-division undergraduate through faculty. R. S. Hewett Drake University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Bruce Caldwell is the Joe Rosenthal Excellence Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

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