Hayek and Liberty

Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 25 (3-4):342-363 (2013)
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Abstract

Hayek's political theory is directed against coercion, which he defines as the intentional control of one person by another. The element of personal intention ensures a clear conceptual distinction between the freedom from coercion—i.e., the “liberty”—that is exercised in the private sphere, and the freedom of choice and opportunity that may be severely constrained by the impersonal, unintentional operation of market forces. Hayek's narrow definitions of coercion and liberty therefore suggest that he was more intent on defending the benefits conferred on us by market forces than on affirming any value intrinsic in freedom—a suggestion confirmed by his lack of interest in species of freedom, such as autonomy, that might conceivably be fostered by state coercion. Hayek's consequentialist defense of liberty, however, was grounded in economic doctrines such as his own view that prices served a vital epistemic function. Given his strictures against the ignorance of modern electorates, Hayek was driven to propose extravagant limits on democracy and to embrace traditionalism; a different Hayekianism might limit inequalities of wealth and encourage the ability to learn from experimentation.

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Citations of this work

Hayek’s neo-Roman liberalism.Sean Irving - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 19 (4):553-570.
Hayek's Two Epistemologies and the Paradoxes of His Thought.Jeffrey Friedman - 2013 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 25 (3-4):277-304.

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References found in this work

The Constitution of Liberty.Friedrich A. Hayek - 1961 - Philosophical Review 70 (3):433-434.
The Constitution of Liberty.Friedrich Hayek - 1998 - Law and Philosophy 17 (1):77-109.
Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality.Eric Mack - 1995 - Philosophy 72 (281):478-482.
The “Mirage” of Social Justice: Hayek Against (and For) Rawls.Andrew Lister - 2013 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 25 (3-4):409-444.

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