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Was Hayek a Panglossian evolutionary theorist? A reply to Whitman

Denis, A. (2002). Was Hayek a Panglossian evolutionary theorist? A reply to Whitman. Constitutional Political Economy, 13(3), pp. 275-285. doi: 10.1023/A:1016173117330

Abstract

By means of a consideration of Whitman (1998) the present paper considers the meanings of ‘Panglossianism’ and the relation between group and individual levels in evolution. It establishes the connection between the Panglossian policy prescription of laissez-faire and the mistaken evolutionary theory of group selection. Analysis of the passages in Hayek cited by Whitman shows that, once these passages are taken in context, and once the appropriate meaning of the term ‘Panglossian’ has been clarified, they fail to defend Hayek from this charge, but, on the contrary, confirm that Hayek was, indeed, ‘a Panglossian evolutionary theorist’.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1016173117330
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Economics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3965
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