Market order and social norms. Hayek's theory of social evolution
Hayek's theory of sociocultural evolution is a generalization of his theory of market order. He explains in the same way the development and operation of market order and those of the social institutions on which market order is based. This logic interprets the development and persistence of spontaneous order and group-level behaviour rules as an unintentional consequence of individual actions. In his explanation of social norms, enforcement of the principles of methodological individualism has to be paid for by abandoning the evolutionist perspective. But Hayek also employs an evolutionist approach in his explanation of social norms, and so he augments his methodological individualist approach with some functionalist-cum-evolutionist arguments. Hayek's theory of sociocultural evolution, for instance, exemplifies how an explanation resting on methodological individualism and a functionalist argument can complement, not preclude each other.
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