Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Patterns of Perception and Behaviour

Friedrich A. Hayek states that reason is conditioned by patterns of perception and behaviour. Those patterns are grown, not designed. They evolved as a result of a process of natural selection. This idea was present in Adam Smith’s works. Rotten food is both forbidden and distasteful not because of having anyone decreed so or of any quality of the rotten food concerning taste, but due to people who found it tasty or felt allowed to eat it did not survive. The population of those who avoided rotten food spread, while of those who did not diminished to extinction. The interrelation of those patterns of perception and behaviour which human reason is built of necessarily implies an order of a higher degree of complexity than human reason itself. That is why Hayek speaks of a complex order.

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