Ep 90: The Counter-Revolution of Science by F.A. Hayek
In this episode I review the main arguments of F.A. Hayek’s 1952 book ‘The Counter-Revolution of Science’, in which he outlines the rise of socialist and totalitarian thought in the early 19th century. Hayek’s main point in this brilliant and insightful book is that the methods and language of the natural sciences were illegitimately applied to the study of society and created the conditions under which French thinkers began to believe that history, politics, and economics operated under natural laws that could be discovered and then applied to society by central planners. He explores how the work of Henri de Saint-Simon and Auguste Comte in the early 19th century laid the foundation for modern authoritarian thinking, how these ideas spread to Germany and fused with Hegelianism, and their abiding influence on all branches of social studies, including economics and theology. He explores the historical context of these thinkers and demonstrates the many philosophical flaws and idiosyncrasies in their work. This book is technical, illuminating, relevant, and well-worth the read.
The Counter-Revolution of Science, F.A. Hayek