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Brown Bag Lectures are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. The Brown Bag Lecture series was discontinued in 2014 with the KLI moving to its new premises in Klosterneuburg. In 2014 the KLI Colloquia were established as the new lecture series.

Event Details

Naomi Beck
KLI Brown Bag
Homo mercans (market man)
Naomi BECK (KLI)
2011-06-29 13:15 - 2011-06-29 13:15
KLI
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Cultural evolution leads to the rise of a morality governed by the rules of the market instead of “atavistic” sentiments of solidarity and altruism, or so thought Friedrich August von Hayek. Nobel laureate in economics, Hayek’s apology of the free market influenced policy makers such as Margaret Thatcher and continues to appeal to many today. This lecture will examine Hayek’s theory of cultural group selection and its central role in his attack on socialist-type approaches that favor distributive justice. Through a comparison with Darwin’s views, Beck will highlight some of the problematical aspects in Hayek’s evolutionary account (e.g., the limited place of reason in the evolution of social norms). Her analysis offers a fresh perspective on Hayek’s thought and an evaluation of key theoretical elements that are often overlooked. This lecture will examine Hayek’s theory of cultural group selection and its central role in his attack on socialist-type approaches that favor distributive justice. Through a comparison with Darwin’s views, Beck will highlight some of the problematical aspects in Hayek’s evolutionary account.

 

Biographical note:
Naomi Beck is currently a Post-doctoral Fellow at the KLI. She obtained her PhD from the University of Paris-1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne) with a dissertation titled “The Metamorphoses of Ideas: Spencer’s Evolutionary Theory and Left-Wing Politics in France and Italy,” which she has recently revised for publication. She has been a Harper-Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago, and held research fellowships at the University of Bologna and at the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. Before joining the KLI she worked at the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy as a Max-Weber Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Beck's research focuses on the history of evolutionary biology in the broad cultural context with an emphasis on the relationship between evolutionary ideas and sociopolitical theories.