The Road to Servomechanisms: The Influence of Cybernetics on Hayek from the Sensory Order to the Social Order
The Center for the History of Political Economy Working Paper Series
41 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 6, 2015
This paper explores the ways in which cybernetics influenced the works of F. A. Hayek from the late 1940s onward. It shows that the concept of negative feedback, borrowed from cybernetics, was central to Hayek’s attempt of giving an explanation of the principle to the emergence of human purposive behavior. Next, the paper discusses Hayek’s later uses of cybernetic ideas in his works on the spontaneous formation of social orders. Finally, Hayek’s view on the appropriate scope of the use of cybernetics is considered.
Keywords: Cybernetics, F. A. Hayek, Norbert Wiener, Garrett Hardin, Ludwig von Bertalanffy
JEL Classification: B25, B31, C60
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation