Law, Legislation and Liberty

Friedrich A. HAYEK

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“AN IMMENSE CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIAL AND LEGAL PHILOSOPHY”: SCARCE FIRST EDITIONS OF NOBEL LAUREATE F.A. HAYEK’S LANDMARK THREE-VOLUME LAW, LEGISLATION AND LIBERTY, TWICE SIGNED BY HAYEK

HAYEK, Friedrich A. Law, Legislation and Liberty. London and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1973-79. Three volumes. Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jackets. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

First edition, published in England coincident with first American editions, of F.A. Hayek’s groundbreaking trilogy, the Nobel laureate’s defining work that on publication argued a “powerful challenge to current trends in social theory and policy” (Economist), in scarce original dust jackets, signed by Hayek in Volumes I and II.

Co-winner of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics and a prominent member of the “Austrian School” of economic thought, F.A. Hayek went “beyond Mises in reformulating the notion of economic coordination as an information problem, competition acting essentially as a discovery process” (Blaug, 557). Intended as a sequel to his Constitution of Liberty (1960) and hailed as “a powerful challenge to current trends in social theory and policy” (Economist), Hayek’s landmark three-volume Law, Legislation and Liberty is “an immense contribution to social and legal philosophy” (Philosophical Studies). Here he authoritatively refined his concepts on “conceptual and empirical links between an economic system based on free markets and a political system based on ‘liberty under law… He showed the fundamental contradiction between the idea of constitutionalism—‘limited government— and the misconception of a democracy ‘where the will of the majority on any particular matter is unlimited.’ He emphasized the difference between the rules of a spontaneous order and the rules of organization, i.e. between cosmos (‘the law of liberty’) and taxis (‘the law of legislation’)… Memorable traits noticeable in almost all of his writings are Hayek’s chivalry and tolerance in criticism and polemics” (Sills, 279-80). In Volume I Hayek establishes a framework for analyzing theories of justice, defines and investigates two kinds of social orders, and synthesizes a theory about the interrelations of justice and liberty. In Volume II his analysis of theories such as utilitarianism and legal positivism challenges prevailing ideals of social justice and offers an outline capable of freeing democracies from any inclination toward totalitarianism. In his concluding volume Hayek argues that behavior is determined more by custom than reason, and calls for a rejection of Marx, Freud, logical positivism and political egalitarianism. First English editions published coincident with the first American editions. Sills, 282.

Books fine, dust jackets bright and lovely with usual toning to spines, small marginal crease to rear panel of third volume. A fine set, most desirable twice signed by Hayek.

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