- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (July 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1403960380
- ISBN-13: 978-1403960382
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,668,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
The author of an eponymous biography of the influential 20th-century political thinker and economist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), Ebenstein here delivers an analysis of the intellectual influences and legacy of this philosopher of liberty. Covering much of Hayek's philosophy beyond his continuing currency in monetary and trade cycle theory, this volume serves as an illuminating supplement to Ebenstein's previous book. "Nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist," Hayek remarked, and Ebenstein elaborates on this assertion, exploring the evolution of Hayek's ideas from a childhood among Darwinists to his flirtation with Vienna Circle thinkers (such as his cousin Ludwig Wittgenstein), to his relationships with Karl Popper and the Chicago School of Economics. Though often repetitive and unclear in his analysis of the pure philosophical elements in Hayek's background, Ebenstein traces Hayek's intellectual relationship to political thinkers such as Mill, Marx and Keynes with an erudite clarity. Crowned by a series of chapters examining Hayek's later political works, this deeply researched and well-documented intellectual history lays out the classical liberal discussions of Hayek's lifetime and offers a compelling and scholarly critical examination of the current debates in the Hayek literature.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"...offers a compelling and scholarly critical examination of the current debates in the Hayek literature." - Publishers Weekly Annex
Top customer reviews
He is today remembered for such classics as THE FATAL CONCEIT, THE CONSTITUTION OF LIBERTY and especially THE ROAD TO SERFDOM. He excelled in many categories and it was this fusion of various fields that made his work so unique and so vital. Starting as a scientist in the tradition of Ernest Mach, he soon began studies in economics, particularly value. From semi-Socialist leanings he became convinced of the link between economic and political freedom. This was the subtext of THE ROAD TO SERFDOM.
His argument against collectivism and central-run economies are as valid today as they were in the early part of last century. Central economies fail because 1) Society has too much knowledge to be centrally commanded (2) all economic decisions become political and thus authoritarian and noncreative and (3) there is no way to set value (price) under Socialism.
THE SENSORY ORDER dealt with epistomology, then he branched out to philosophy and politics. As an example of how Socialist we have become, Hayek's views were called ""liberal" and are now called "conservative" despite the fact that they're unchanged. He wrote one piece "WHY I AM NOT A CONSERVATIVE" which is a clarion call for libertarianism and classical liberalism.
The book examines the clashes between intellectual giants - von Mises, Popper, Mach, Wittgenstein (his cousin) and others. He was a secularist, a capitalist and a political liberal in the classical sense. His work on monetary policy still affects us (adjusting interest rates to increase or decrease the money supply, "floating" currencies externally). His influence with Western politicians and intellectual leaders was and is huge. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics in appreciation for his many contributions.
Almost as an afterward Hayek issued a brilliant statement. The aim of all economists is the increase in material wealth. He wanted this accomplished through an increase in wealth (capitalism) rather than a confiscation / redistribution of wealth (socialism / central run economies). The battle between these two points of view are with us today.
Being only modestly acquainted with 20th century history, and even less so on economic and political theories, I strongly endorse reading a historical account of Hayek prior to considering this thematic presentation. Hayek was a man of his time, passionately contending with political ideologies and economic centralization that he felt threatened individual liberties. In my view, a historical approach can more aptly express the interplay of social, cultural, and personal influences that shaped Hayek's life and thought.
Be that as it may, Ebenstein has done a fine job in this book. Each chapter is devoted to a specific idea of, or a major influence on, Hayek. Foundational ideas incorporated into Hayek's thought are discussed (Darwinianism, German historicism, Austrian school economics) as are significant works that denoted major changes in his thought. Individual chapters deal with Mises, Keynes, Friedman and Popper, and another contrasts Hayek's thought with Marx, Mill, and Freud. Hayek's major economic thought is address in chapters devoted to both his early years and his later work.
I recommend this book primarily as a ready and current reference for the ongoing debates and interpretations of Hayek. Ebenstein's Bibliographical Essay on the collected works of Hayek may be an essential source for those studying this man.
This book summarizes the ideas and discusses his many books, most of which are currently in print. It is written in an easy to read style. It may help you decide which of Hayek's works to read first.
I enjoyed it.
When this title hit the bookshops, I immediately purchased a copy thinking that this volume would make up for the inadequacies of the first. But again, I am left with the feeling that a better work on the life and writings of the great Von Hayek is still to be written!