Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226556000 Published June 2018
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Hayek and the Evolution of Capitalism

Naomi Beck

Hayek and the Evolution of Capitalism

Naomi Beck

208 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226556000 Published June 2018
E-book $10.00 to $40.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226556147 Published June 2018
Few economists can claim the influence—or fame—of F. A. Hayek. Winner of the Nobel Prize, Hayek was one of the most consequential thinkers of the twentieth century, his views on the free market echoed by such major figures as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
 
Yet even among those who study his work in depth, few have looked closely at his use of ideas from evolutionary science to advance his vision of markets and society. With this book Naomi Beck offers the first full-length engagement with Hayek’s thought from this perspective. Hayek argued that the capitalism we see in advanced civilizations is an unintended consequence of group selection—groups that adopted free market behavior expanded more successfully than others. But this attempt at a scientific grounding for Hayek’s principles, Beck shows, fails to hold water, plagued by incoherencies, misinterpretations of the underlying science, and lack of evidence. As crises around the globe lead to reconsiderations of the place of capitalism, Beck’s excavation of this little-known strand of Hayek’s thought—and its failure—is timely and instructive.
Review Quotes
Ulrich Witt, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena
"Hayek's defense of free societies has recently regained much attention. In this magnificent book Naomi Beck presents a rich and illuminating analysis of how Hayek's ideas were formed. Her critical reconstruction is a must-read for everyone interested in an authentic portrayal of this great twentieth-century thinker."
Paul H. Erickson, Wesleyan University
“This is a beautifully presented critique—in the classic sense of the word—of some of Friedrich Hayek’s later work on the evolution of liberal capitalism. Throughout, Beck imparts a clarity to Hayek’s theory of cultural evolution that can sometimes remain elusive in Hayek’s own writings. It will prove incredibly useful and illuminating for readers from backgrounds in intellectual history, the history of science, and the history of economic thought.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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