The Three Sources of the Human Values, according to Hayek

Friedrich August von Hayek believed that there were three sources of human values, those ‘which are genetically determined and therefore innate’, those which are ‘products of rational thought’, and those which are the consequence of ‘cultural evolution’. To explain the reasoning behind his theory he wrote Law, Legislation and Liberty. The book took him sixteen years to complete, starting it in 1962 and finishing it in 1978.

Hayek puts great emphasize on the importance of the third source of his human values, ‘cultural evolution’. He does this so as to show that the significance of the cultural evolution within society. I personally believed that Hayek’s philosophical ideas can help us to understand a little better the market, science and even language of today’s world, as well as the social structures, liberal and social.

Hayek chooses to differentiate between two kinds of rationalism, what he calls ‘constructive rationalism’ and ‘evolutionary rationalism’. He then, connects these with two kinds of order, ‘designed’ or ‘made orders’, and ‘spontaneous orders’. ‘Constructive rationalism’ comes from Descartes. It is important to keep in mind that according to constructive rationalism, “rational actions are those which are determined entirely by known and demonstrable truths”, and “rational social institutions are those which are deliberately designed to achieve specific, defined purposes.” With these definitions Hayek poses that specific orders and actions, such as truths are not the same.

‘Constructive rationalism’ has to do with designed or made orders. Made orders consists of such goods as cars, computer chips, buildings or factories. All of them have been designed and made for a purpose or multiple purposes. The great success of this idea leads to the assumption that human productions and institutions are, and must be, the creation of deliberate design. However, this assumption...