Friedrich August von Hayek Quotes

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Friedrich Hayek
Born (1899-05-08)8 May 1899
Vienna, Cisleithania, Austria-Hungary
Died 23 March 1992(1992-03-23) (aged 92)
Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Nationality

Austrian
British

Institution

1962–68  University of Freiburg
1950–62  University of Chicago
1931–50  LSE

Field

Economics
Political science
Law
Philosophy
Psychology

School or
tradition
Austrian School, Chicago school of economics
Alma mater
University of Vienna
(Dr. jur., 1921, Dr. rer. pol, 1923)
Influences

Acton
Böhm-Bawerk
Burke
Eucken
Ferguson
Fetter
Hume
Locke
E. Mach
Mandeville
Menger
Mill
Mises
Popper
Sidney
A. Smith
Spann
Tocqueville
Tucker
Wicksell
Wieser
Wittgenstein

Influenced

Coase
Erhard
D. Friedman
M. Friedman
H. Hazlitt
Hicks
Laffer
Lerner
Ostrom
Popper
Rothbard
Selgin
V. Smith
Sowell
Stigler
Timberlake
White
Williams
Yayla
Yeager
Chang

Contributions

Economic calculation problem
Catallaxy
Dispersed knowledge
Price signal
Spontaneous order
Hayek–Hebb model

Awards

1974  Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences
1984  CH
1991  Presidential Medal of Freedom

Information at IDEAS / RePEc

We have indeed at the moment little cause for pride: as a profession we have made a mess of things.
Friedrich August von Hayek
We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.
Friedrich August von Hayek
Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom.
Friedrich August von Hayek
The mind cannot foresee its own advance.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
Friedrich August von Hayek
We know, in other words, the general conditions in which what we call, somewhat misleadingly, an equilibrium will establish itself: but we never know what the particular prices or wages are which would exist if the market were to bring about such an equilibrium.
Friedrich August von Hayek
The credit which the apparent conformity with recognized scientific standards can gain for seemingly simple but false theories may, as the present instance shows, have grave consequences.
Friedrich August von Hayek
If most people are not willing to see the difficulty, this is mainly because, consciously or unconsciously, they assume that it will be they who will settle these questions for the others, and because they are convinced of their own capacity to do this.
Friedrich August von Hayek
Our moral traditions developed concurrently with our reason, not as its product.
Friedrich August von Hayek
It seems to me that socialists today can preserve their position in academic economics merely by the pretense that the differences are entirely moral questions about which science cannot decide.
Friedrich August von Hayek
This means that to entrust to science – or to deliberate control according to scientific principles – more than scientific method can achieve may have deplorable effects.
Friedrich August von Hayek
He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.
Friedrich August von Hayek
Even the striving for equality by means of a directed economy can result only in an officially enforced inequality – an authoritarian determination of the status of each individual in the new hierarchical order.
Friedrich August von Hayek
Why should we, however, in economics, have to plead ignorance of the sort of facts on which, in the case of a physical theory, a scientist would certainly be expected to give precise information?
Friedrich August von Hayek
It is rather a problem of how to secure the best use of resources known to any of the members of society, for ends whose relative importance only those individuals know.
Friedrich August von Hayek
The progress of the natural sciences in modern times has of course so much exceeded all expectations that any suggestion that there may be some limits to it is bound to arouse suspicion.
Friedrich August von Hayek
A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.
Friedrich August von Hayek
I regard it in fact as the great advantage of the mathematical technique that it allows us to describe, by means of algebraic equations, the general character of a pattern even where we are ignorant of the numerical values which will determine its particular manifestation.
Friedrich August von Hayek
We must face the fact that the preservation of individual freedom is incompatible with a full satisfaction of our views of distributive justice.
Friedrich August von Hayek
Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom.
Friedrich August von Hayek
It can hardly be denied that such a demand quite arbitrarily limits the facts which are to be admitted as possible causes of the events which occur in the real world.
Friedrich August von Hayek
I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.
Friedrich August von Hayek
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
Friedrich August von Hayek
To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm.
Friedrich August von Hayek
Intellects whose desires have outstripped their understanding.
If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.
Friedrich August von Hayek
I have arrived at the conviction that the neglect by economists to discuss seriously what is really the crucial problem of our time is due to a certain timidity about soiling their hands by going from purely scientific questions into value questions.
Friedrich August von Hayek
We know: of course, with regard to the market and similar social structures, a great many facts which we cannot measure and on which indeed we have only some very imprecise and general information.
Friedrich August von Hayek