The arguments presented in Hayek's The Sensory Order suggest that the mind/brain is a decentralized spontaneous order. The decentralized nature of decision-making and the central role of classification in perception, cognition, and action, are solutions to the knowledge problem that confronts the system. The nature of this decentralized complex system suggests that the ordering is deterministic and that free will in the sense of a decision-maker being able to stand outside the circle of cause and effect is an illusion. If determinism is correct, how can we hold individuals responsible for their actions? It is argued that the evolution of responsibility, blame and credit are the products of a second Hayekian spontaneous order. Responsibility and the allocation of credit and blame are part of an implicit social contract that facilitates cultural evolution, political freedom, and economic growth. It is responsibility, not the existence of free will, that makes freedom possible.
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 18, 2007
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