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By F.A. Hayek

'A cautious and incredible assertion of the stipulations of human freedom. it's a significant paintings of political and financial philosophy which units phrases that neither its neighbors or critics can ignore.' - THES

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REASON AND EVOLUTION Man acted before he thought and did not understand before he acted. What we call understanding is in the last resort simply his capacity to respond to his environment \vith a pattern of actions that helps him to persist. Such is the modicum of truth in behaviourism and pragmatism, doctrines which, however, have so crudely oversimplified the determining relationships as to becolne more obstacles than helps to their appreciation. 'Learning from experience', among men no less than among animals, is a process not primarily of reasoning but of the observance, spreading, transmission and development of practices which have prevailed because they were successful-often not because they conferred any recognizable benefit on the acting individual but because they increased the chances of survival of the group to which he belonged.

If, however, the term means that conscious reason ought to determine every particular action, I am not a rationalist, and such rationalism seems to me to be very unreasonable. Surely, one of the tasks of reason is to decide how far it is to extend its control or how far it ought to rely on other forces which it cannot wholly control. It is therefore better in this connection not to distinguish between 'rationalism' and 'anti-rationalism' but to distinguish between a constructivist and an evolutionary, or, in Karl Popper's terms, a naive and a critical rationalism.

What he did, and it was revolutionary enough, was to undermine the faith of many people in the justice of the society in which they lived. And he did so by demanding that 'society' should be just as if it were a thinking being. The refusal to recognize as binding any rules of conduct whose justification had not been rationally demonstrated or 'made clear and demonstrative to every individual' 40 becomes in the nineteenth century an ever recurring theme. T\vo examples will indicate the attitude.

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