F. A. Hayek's The Sensory Order: An Evolutionary Perspective?

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  • Author(s): Birner, Jack
  • Source:
    Biological Theory; Jun2015, Vol. 10 Issue 2, p167-175, 9p
  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      F. A. Hayek's The Sensory Order () is often considered to be a theory of cognitive psychology. While it contains a theory on the psychology of perception, it has the function of illustrating Hayek's solution to the mind-body problem. The solution, which has been strongly influenced by Moritz Schlick's epistemology, takes the form of a physicalist identity theory. An attempt is made to trace Schlick's influence on Hayek to the latter's stay in Zürich, which resulted in a manuscript (1920) that contains the main features of the 1952 book. One of the consequences of Hayek's theory is that we cannot describe the functioning of our mind completely without using expressions that refer to subjective experiences. For Hayek this is not a fundamental problem but a practical one that does not jeopardize his physicalist identity theory. Unlike the manuscript, The Sensory Order contains a rudimentary sketch of an evolutionary research program. When Hayek elaborated that program later, though, he focused on cultural evolution rather than on the evolution of the mind. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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