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Hayek and Behavioral Economics: Mindscapes and Landscapes: Hayek and Simon on Cognitive Extension

I see that the publisher now has a fully detailed page up for a volume that I’ve been privileged to be a part of. The Foreword is by a very nice chappie going by the name of V.Smith and includes luminaries such as McCloskey, Boettke, Gintis, Steel and others. My abstract:

Mindscapes and Landscapes: Hayek and Simon on Cognitive Extension

Hayek’s and Simon’s social externalism runs on a shared presupposition: mind is constrained in its computational capacity to detect, harvest, and assimilate “data” generated by the infinitely fine-grained and perpetually dynamic characteristic of experience in complex social environments. For Hayek, mind and sociality are co-evolved spontaneous orders, allowing little or no prospect of comprehensive explanation, trapped in a hermeneutically sealed, i.e. inescapably context bound, eco-system. For Simon, it is the simplicity of mind that is the bottleneck, overwhelmed by the ambient complexity of the environmental. Since on Simon’s account complexity is unidirectional, Simon is far more ebullient about the prospects of explanation. Hayek’s social externalism functions as a kind of distributed “extra-neural” memory store manifest as dynamic spontaneous orders. Simon’s organizational rule-governed externalism negotiates the “inner” world (the mind) with the “outer” world through a homeostatic interface that offloads the cognitive burden into the environment. Their respective externalisms may differ in detail but not in spirit in that it ameliorates their shared presupposition of cognitive constraint. Even though any “optimization talk” for Hayek and Simon is objectionable, knowledge acquisition can be represented by a contextualized stigmergic swarm optimization algorithm that gives due emphasis to both the individual and the environment. The key insight is that “perfect” knowledge is unnecessary, impracticable and indeed irrelevant if one understands the mechanism at work in complex sociality, a stigmergic sociality that in effect augments or scaffolds cognition.

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Hayek and the “Use of Knowledge in Society”

Here is a draft of my entry for the SAGE Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences.

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Daniel Kahneman on Cognitive Traps

Daniel Kahneman’s recently released book Thinking, Fast and Slow aimed at a popular audience is certainly generating a great deal of press, so far as I can tell, most of it very positive. Here he is outlining his experimental work in a Ted Talk. As a behavioral economist much of what he says about rationality will have resonance for Hayek and Simon and other situated cognitive theorists. I think that much of what Kahneman says is consistent with Gunderman from the previous posting though they are of course very different thinkers.

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Trailing Hayek in Mind

Here is the table of contents for my forthcoming (in press) edited volume focusing on The Sensory Order – this is the first salvo of shameless promotion.

CONTENTS

“SOCIALIZING” THE MIND AND “COGNITIVIZING” SOCIALITY

Leslie Marsh

“MARGINAL MEN”: WEIMER ON HAYEK

Walter Weimer

PART I: NEUROSCIENCE

HAYEK IN TODAY’S COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE

Joaquín Fuster

THE NON-CARTESIAN VIEW AND THE BRAIN

Erol Başar

PART II: PHILOSOPHY OF MIND

HAYEK’S QUESTION: HOW CAN PARTS OF THE WORLD COME TO MODEL THE REST OF THE WORLD

Joshua Rust

HAYEK’S SPECULATIVE PSYCHOLOGY, THE NEUROSCIENCE OF VALUE ESTIMATION AND THE BASIS OF NORMATIVE INDIVIDUALISM

Don Ross

HAYEK, POPPER AND THE CAUSAL THEORY OF THE MIND

Edward Feser

PEIRCE AND HAYEK ON THE ABSTRACT NATURE OF COGNITION AND SENSATION

James Wible

HAYEK’S POST-POSITIVIST EMPIRICISM: EXPERIENCE BEYOND SENSATION

Jan Willem Lindemans

A NOTE ON THE INFLUENCE OF MACH’S PSYCHOLOGY IN HAYEK’S PSYCHOLOGY

Giandomenica Becchio

PART III: MIND AND SOCIALITY

THE EMERGENCE OF THE MIND: HAYEK’S ACCOUNT OF MENTAL PHENOMENA AS A PRODUCT OF SPONTANEOUS PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL ORDERS

Gloria Zúñiga y Postigo

HAYEK’S SELF-ORGANIZING MENTAL ORDER AND FOLK-PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES OF THE MIND

Chiara Chelini

BEYOND COMPLEXITY: CAN THE SENSORY ORDER DEFEND THE LIBERAL SELF?

Chor-yung Cheung

COGNITIVE OPENING AND CLOSING: TOWARDS AN EXPLORATION OF THE MENTAL WORLD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Thierry Aimar

GETTING TO THE HAYEKIAN NETWORK

 Troy Camplin

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Brain-Body-Mind

Here is the recently published book by my chum Erol Başar who as it happens is also contributing to my forthcoming edited book entitled Hayek in Mind: Hayek’s Philosophical Psychology. Not surprisingly,  there is much reference to Hayek’s The Sensory Order peppered throughout Erol’s book most notably in section 2.12 (pp. 39-41). Other distinguished neuroscientists who appreciate the virtues of Hayek’s prescient insights include of course Fuster and Edelman. Erol writes:

The writing of a monograph on brain-body-mind is extremely ambitious. This is because I think that Friedrich von Hayek was correct when he stated (1952), “The mind must remain forever in a realm of its own, which we shall never be able fully to explain.”

I unfashionably argue for this view in a forthcoming paper borrowing Colin McGinn’s phrase “Cognitive Closure.”

Hayek: Cognitive scientist Avant la Lettre

My published article is now available from here. Check out the full table of contents for this volume.

Hayek: cognitive scientist avant la lettre

Here is the uncorrected proof of my essay – do not cite.