By Mark Notturno
Karl Popper and Friedrich von Hayek are remembered as of the 20th century’s maximum proponents of open society. in spite of the fact that, through the years, Hayek’s principles have tended to be favoured over Popper’s in either educational and political discussions. This booklet goals to enhance figuring out of Popper’s and Hayek’s philosophies by means of explaining their alterations, and when doing so, to inspire liberal political philosophers to take a better-informed and extra sympathetic examine Popper’s rules approximately open society.
Popper and Hayek differed in refined yet primary methods approximately rationality, economism, and democracy. They hence differed approximately no matter if and to what quantity society is definitely served via planned makes an attempt at social engineering and govt intervention within the financial system. in addition they differed approximately even if democracy is best served by way of associations designed to pick the easiest leaders, or via associations designed to guard us opposed to the leaders we decide. they usually differed, maybe most significantly, approximately no matter if we should always worth freedom as a way to prosperity or an end-in-itself.
This e-book argues that Hayek’s perspectives approximately rationality, economism, and democracy are essentially at odds with Popper’s¾ and even perhaps with open society itself―and that the unintentional outcomes of Hayek’s perspectives may very well pose a risk to Popper’s imaginative and prescient of a liberal and unfastened open society.
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Additional info for Hayek and Popper: On Rationality, Economism, and Democracy
It is a readiness to listen to critical arguments, to search for one’s own mistakes, and to learn from them. And it is an attitude that he tried to sum up in the words ‘I may be wrong and you may be right, and with an effort, we may get closer to the truth’ (Popper 1994, xii). But Popper’s disagreement with Hayek over rationality showed itself in many different ways, including their different attitudes toward scientism, the unity of scientiﬁc method, piecemeal social engineering, interventionism, and the spontaneous growth of traditions and institutions.
And it seems far more likely, when we begin to reﬂect upon what kind of knowledge is really involved in ordinary engineering jobs, that what Hayek says about social problems holds true for them as well. Is it really possible for a single mind to comprehend all of the knowledge that is necessary for building an airplane, or an aircraft carrier, or a spaceship, or a space station? These, of course, may be examples of extraordinary engineering jobs. But Milton Friedman, who regarded Hayek as the writer who exerted the most inﬂuence upon his own thought, thought that the very same point could be made about building a pencil.
Indeed, the fact that 2,000 or so scientists agree about something is now offered as proof that it is true. I know that some people—even some who hold professorships at our best universities—think that philosophy is abstract pie in the sky, that philosophical disagreements are typically mountains made from molehills, and that the tendencies I have cited are inconsequential, or even moves in the right direction. But I think that what we do in life is very often the consequence of what we think, believe, and value; that what we think, believe, and value are very often inﬂuenced by the concerns we have; and that the concerns that we have, or do not have, are very often inﬂuenced by the philosophical choices that we have been given, or have given ourselves.