Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F.A. Hayek

Paperback | December 15, 2005

byBruce Caldwell

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 ...

From the Jacket

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 ...

Bruce Caldwell is the Joe Rosenthal Excellence Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and author of Beyond Positivism: Economic Methodology in the Twentieth Century. He is past president of the History of Economics Society and the general editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, c...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:500 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:December 15, 2005Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226091937

ISBN - 13:9780226091938

Customer Reviews of Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F.A. Hayek

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is an excellent book. If you're interested in Hayek's work, or in economics in general, it's a must read. If you have read books by Hayek, this book will provide you some important additional information about the context of his work and of each book. It attempts to describe the evolution of Hayek's thought, and while at it, summarizes the work of thinkers who influenced him and also of those he disagreed with. The book might also be a good introduction to his ideas for someone who hasn't read his work yet, but is willing to. The only criticism I have is that in some passages the author uses highly specialized language without clarifying the meaning of the words, especially when he discusses methodology. Even thought he meaning of most of these words can be guessed, and the remaining can be googled, some clarification in the text would have been helpful. Still, this happens only occasionally, mostly in the appendices of the book.
Date published: 2014-01-28

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

I. The Austrian School and Its Opponents—-Historicists, Socialists and Positivists
1. Menger's Principles of Economics
2. The German Historical School
3. The Methodenstreit
4. Max Weber and the Decline of the Historical School
5. Positivism and Socialism

II. Hayek's Journey
6. Hayek in Vienna
7. Monetary Theory and Methodology
8. Hayek at the London School of Economics
9. Some Methodological Debates of the 1930s
10. "Economics and Knowledge" and Hayek's Transformation
11. The Abuse of Reason Project
12. Individualism and the Sensory Order
13. Rules, Orders and Evolution

III. Hayek's Challenge
14. Journey's End—-Hayek's Multiple Legacies
15. Epilogue: A Meditation on Twentieth-Century Economics

Appendixes
Bibliography
Index