Oliver Williamson & Friedrich Hayek

Only a handful of Nobel Prize winners are as well read in the work of Friedrich Hayek as 2009 winner Oliver Williamson.  Note for example the references to Hayek in Williamson’s The Economic Institutions of Capitalism.  Williamson is particularly fond of quoting this passage from one of Hayek’s essays on the nature of explanation:

“Whenever the capacity of recognizing an abstract rule which the arrangement of these attributes follows has been acquired in one field, the same master mould will apply when the signs of those attributes are evoked by altogether different elements” (1967:52).

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The basis assumption underlying the belief that man has achieved mastery of his surroundings mainly through his capacity for logical deduction from explicit premises is factually false. — F. A. Hayek

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