F.A. von Hayek (1899-1992) was a diverse and highly controversial economist. His writings range from the economic analysis of capital and money, his business-cycle theory, methodological subjectivism in his early years, to the psychological and sensorial analysis of knowledge, to his sociophilosophical writings on societal evolution in the 1960s and 1970s, where we may also identify a climax within his research. This section on Hayek heuristics deals mostly with Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1967) and his writings on Law, Legislation and Liberty. But before we dig deeper into his evolutionary theory of institutional change we take a look into the motivations and origins of Hayek heuristics by examining briefly the economic struggle between Hayek and Keynes, which somehow dominated Hayek’s whole intellectual life. Hayek was an exact and dedicated writer, Wapshott (2011) even calls him a ‘punctilious logician and dogged contrarian’. However his work experienced a mystification with the rise of neoliberal politics. Hayek is regarded as the godfather of neoliberalism today, with reference to his book on The Road to Serfdom written in 1944 and his founding role within the Mont Pelerin Society. Even at this point he followed his introverted, scholarly and sometimes naïve habitus, felt deeply ashamed and made a retreat in his autobiography:

At about the same time, I discredited myself with most of my fellow economists by writing The Road to Serfdom, which is disliked so much. So not only did my theoretical influence decline, most of the departments [at the London School of Economics] came to dislike me.