Hayek in Lawson's View: Positivism, Hermeneutics and Ontological Individualism

Revista de Instituciones, Ideas y Mercado 66:1-29 (2017)
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In this paper we will analyze Lawson’s criticism of Hayek for not having transcended positivism. We will distinguish two levels in the criticism: methodological and ontological. So far as methodological criticism is concerned, we consider that Lawson’s positivist interpretation of Hayek regarding the method in economics is not the only possible, and we will try to develop another one. With respect to ontological criticism, we will state that though it is possible to understand Hayek as an ontological positivist, since he assumes an ontological individualism, this fact would not necessarily lead to positivism -question to which Lawson seems to bring Hayek closer after 1955- but a moderate ontological individualism could be assigned to Hayek founded on a realistic interpretation of Husserl’s phenomenology.

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Agustina Borella
Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) (PhD)


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