VIDEO — HAYEK SPEAKING ON “EVOLUTION AND SPONTANEOUS ORDER”

Hayek speaking in 1983 at the 33rd Meeting of Nobel Laureates at Lindau. The video contains many excellent photos of Hayek participating at these meetings over the years.

Hayek happily reports on his sense of the vindication of long held views from his recent reading of Ernst Mayr’s landmark work The Growth of Biological Thought, a man Hayek had met at the 100th anniversary celebration of the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species at the U. of Chicago (a story told to me by Mayr himself.) And Hayek is dead on his his estimation of Mayr’s book. It is among the most significant histories of any science written in recent decades.

Note well — Darwin’s 1838 notebooks show that Darwin was reading Dugald Stewart’s explication of Adam Smith — both The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations — and not Smith himself (unfortunately, my copy of Darwin’s notebooks is not at immediately at hand.) One of the problems that played a role in the inspiration of Darwin’s theory of descent by natural selection, curiously enough, was the expression of emotions in animals and humans, and Smith’s discussion of morals and emotionswas one of the topics which had captured Darwin (if memory serves, it’s been some time since I carefully studied this episode and Darwin’s notebooks.) See especially Darwin’s Notebook’s B, M & N.

Bonus: Here’s a study of the literature on Darwin’s discovery of the theory of descent by natural selection, from 1984.

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No one has characterized market mechanisms better than Friedrich von Hayek. — Herbert Simon

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