David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Economic Methodology 4 (2):245-266 (1997)
What do we mean when we say action is possible in disequilibrium? If we adopt Hayek's approach to equilibrium, we must mean that we can act in a world where the plans that motivate and define those actions are not mutually compatible. This is hardly controversial. After all, the market process features rivalrous actions, that is, actions that are part of mutually inconsistent plans. Successful plans tend to displace unsuccessful ones. But, can we say, therefore, that, overall, plans tend to become more consistent so that there is a ?tendency? toward equilibrium? Is this important? I answer both in the negative and that the Hayekian definition requires too much. Plans are complex, multi-layered con-structs. Overall ?plan consistency? is, therefore, either impossible or hopelessly imprecise. At some levels plans are and must be highly compatible, while at other levels (as part of the market process for example) they are and, if we are to have economic progress, they must be, incompatible
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I. Prigogine (1984). Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature. Distributed by Random House.
F. A. Hayek (1982). Law, Legislation and Liberty. Philosophy 57 (220):274-278.
Martha Kneale & F. A. Hayek (1954). The Sensory Order. Philosophical Quarterly 4 (15):189.
Henri Bergson & Mabelle Louise Cunningham Andison (1965). An Introduction to Metaphysics. The Creative Mind. Littlefield, Adams.
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