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Did Hayek Commit the Naturalistic Fallacy?

Erik Angner ()

Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2004, vol. 26, issue 3, 349-361

Abstract: In promoting spontaneous orders—orders that evolve in a process of cultural evolution—as “efficient,†“beneficial,†and “advantageous,†Friedrich A. Hayek (1899–1992) has often been attributed the belief that there is something desirable about them. For this reason, he has been accused of committing the naturalistic fallacy, that is, of trying to derive an “ought†from an “is.†It appears that Hayek was quite aware of the charge, and vigorously disputed it: “I have no intention to commit what is often called the genetic or naturalistic fallacy†(1988, p. 27).

Date: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cup:jhisec:v:26:y:2004:i:03:p:349-361_00