Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa


  • Scott Scheall (a1)

The paper argues that Terence Hutchison’s (1981) argument that the young F. A. Hayek maintained a methodological position markedly similar to that of Ludwig von Mises fails to support the relevant conclusion. The first problem with Hutchison’s argument is that it is not clear exactly what conclusion he meant to establish. Mises (in)famously maintained a rather extreme methodological apriorism. However, the concept of a priori knowledge that emerges from Hayek’s epistemology as implied in his work on theoretical psychology is the opposite of Mises’s treatment of a priori knowledge. Thus, it cannot be maintained—if, indeed, Hutchison meant to establish—that Hayek was a Misesian apriorist during the years in question. What’s more, the paper shows that Hutchison’s argument does not support a weaker interpretation of the relevant conclusion. There are alternative interpretations of Hutchison’s evidence, more charitable and more consistent with Hayek’s epistemology, which undermine Hutchison’s conclusion.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Bruce Caldwell . 1988. “Hayek’s Transformation.” History of Political Economy 20, 4 (Winter): 513541.

D. Wade Hands . 2001. Reflection without Rules: Economic Methodology and Contemporary Science Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

John Hart . 2009. “Machlup’s Misrepresentation of Hutchison’s Methodology.” Journal of Economic Methodology 16, 3 (Sept.): 325340.

Friedrich A Hayek . 1937. “Economics and Knowledge.” Economica 4, 13 (Feb.): 3354.

Friedrich A Hayek . 1942–1944. “Scientism and the Study of Society.” Economica 9, 35 (Aug. 1942): 267291; Vol. 10, 37 (Feb. 1943): 34–63; Vol. 11, 41 (Feb. 1944): 27–39.

Friedrich A Hayek . 1994. Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue. Edited by Stephen Kresge and Leif Wenar . Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Terence. W Hutchison . 1998. “Ultra-deductivism from Nassau Senior to Lionel Robbins and Daniel Hausman.” Journal of Economic Methodology 5: 4391.

Terence. W Hutchison . 2009. “A Formative Decade: Methodological Controversy in the 1930s.” Edited by R. E. Backhouse . Journal of Economic Methodology 16, 3 (Sept.): 297314.

Robert Leonard . 2010. Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Oskar Morgenstern . 1928. Wirtschaftsprognose: Eine Untersuchung ikrer Voraussetzungen und Möglichkeiten. Vienna: Springer.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the History of Economic Thought
  • ISSN: 1053-8372
  • EISSN: 1469-9656
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-history-of-economic-thought
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 21 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 197 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.