Hayek and the Methodological Peculiarities of Social Sciences

Robert Nadeau
Université du Québec à Montreal
Throughout his writings, Hayek has emphasized that a "scientistic prejudice" is working as a bad steering factor in the research for sound theories in the general field of social sciences, and especially in economics. Notwithstanding Hayek's criticism, most contemporary economists still think that they must imitate methods of physical and biological sciences in order to do good and valid science. While Hayek was first vehemently reproving this methodological choice in his early writings (for example, Hayek 1952), he was afterwards convinced by Popper, as he himself acknowledges (see Hayek 1967) that the scientific method social scientists sought to transpose into their own research field was mere illusion. Consequently, Hayek rejected the confirmationist approach to economic theories and adopted a strict falsificationist one (this is very clear in the Nobel Memorial Lecture: see Hayek 1974)
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Hayek and the Interpretive Turn.G. B. Madison - 1989 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 3 (2):169-185.

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