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Book cover: Advances in Austrian Economics

Advances in Austrian Economics

ISSN: 1529-2134
Series editor(s): Roger Koppl; Virgil Storr

Subject Area: Economics

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Chapter 4 Clash of the Titans: When the Market and Science Collide

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Title:Chapter 4 Clash of the Titans: When the Market and Science Collide
Author(s):David F. Hardwick, Leslie Marsh
Volume:17 Editor(s): Roger Koppl, Steven Horwitz, Laurent Dobuzinskis ISBN: 978-1-78190-216-5 eISBN: 978-1-78190-217-2
Citation:David F. Hardwick, Leslie Marsh (2012), Chapter 4 Clash of the Titans: When the Market and Science Collide, in Roger Koppl, Steven Horwitz, Laurent Dobuzinskis (ed.) Experts and Epistemic Monopolies (Advances in Austrian Economics, Volume 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.37-60
DOI:10.1108/S1529-2134(2012)0000017006 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item

Purpose/problem statement – Two highly successful complex adaptive systems are the Market and Science, each with an inherent tendency toward epistemic imperialism. Of late, science, notably medical science, seems to have become functionally subservient to market imperatives. We offer a twofold Hayekian analysis: a justification of the multiplicity view of spontaneous orders and a critique of the libertarian justification of market prioricity.

Methodology/approach – This chapter brings to light Hayekian continuities between diverse literatures – philosophical, epistemological, cognitive, and scientific.

Findings – The very precondition of knowledge is the exploitation of the epistemic virtues accorded by society's manifold of spontaneous forces, a manifold that gives context and definition to intimate, regulate, and inform action. The free-flow of information is the lifeblood of civil (liberal) society. The commoditization of medical knowledge promotes a dysfunctional free-flow of information that compromises notions of expertise and ultimately has implications for the greater good.

Research limitations/implications – While we accept that there are irresolvable tensions between these epistemic magisteria we are troubled by the overt tampering with the spontaneous order mechanism of medical science. The lessons of Hayek are not being assimilated by many who would go by the adjective Hayekian.

Originality/value of chapter – On offer is a Hayekian restatement (contra the libertarian view typically attributed to Hayek) cautioning that no one spontaneous order should dominate over another, neither should they be made conversable. Indeed, we argue that the healthy functioning of a market presupposes institutions that should not answer to market imperatives.

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