glyph 584: learning, perception, novelty, emergent conjecture ... Michael Strong, F. A. Hayek, Socrates ... pedagogy ... philosophy, epistemology ... psychology


Perceptual Salience and the Creative Powers of a Free Civilization

the importance of Hayek, by Michael Strong

The fact that we don't know what we don't know has been a paradox from the time of Socrates. It has not been adequately appreciated that, for Socrates, that paradox was the impetus for developing new understandings.

Hayek adds to this paradox by providing a plausible empirical model for how we gain understanding: our brain is actually re-wired to create new perceptions and concepts when we acknowledge inconsistencies in our experience or thoughts and then create new perceptions and concepts to reconcile those inconsistencies (The 'Socratic method,' properly understood, is a matter of bringing inconsistencies to light - and therefore enabling Hayekian creativity).

Hayek provides a coherent account of novel perception that includes:

Academia at present has not adequately incorporated any of the foregoing Hayekian theses into the mainstream of economic, political, and legal thought.

Of practical import is the consequence of learning Hayekian theory: i.e., incorporating a Hayekian perceptual frame into the way in which one views the world. I will try to articulate a few of the consequence of incorporating such a frame in the remainder of this paper.

The complete paper: Perceptual Salience and the Creative Powers of a Free Civilization
November 3, 2017; edited/updated July 15, 2020

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