Arts and Sciences Program
Exploring F. A. Hayek and The Road to Serfdom
November 16-19, 2006
Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institute has called Friedrich von Hayek "the central pioneering figure in changing the course of thought in the twentieth century." To study this pivotal figure, the Neuwaldegg Institute brought together students of economics from a wide range CEE countries, at Castle Neuwaldegg in Vienna Austria.
The Hayek Seminar, November 16-19, 2006, explored an array of issues presented throughout Hayek’s 1944 classic, The Road to Serfdom.
Dedicated to "the socialists of all parties", The Road to Serfdom primarily focused on the failure of collectivist societies, from Hitler's National Socialism to Stalin's communism.
Collectivist societies dismantle the free market system through the necessity of central planning, according to Hayek. Ultimately this ends in the destruction of all individual economic and personal freedom, and inevitably leads to an autocratic government.
Hayek argued that central planning failures would convince the public that the state lacks the power to execute an otherwise good model. This in turn would influence the public to give more power to the state. Eventually this would give rise to an individual who can fulfill the task of executing the program. Hayek believed the state would then naturally evolve into outright totalitarianism, erasing the distinction between state and society.
In The Road to Serfdom Hayek wrote: "The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule."
To discuss the Road to Serfdom, the Neuwaldegg Institute was pleased to host Dr. Peter Koslowski. He is a Professor of Philosophy, particularly Philosophy of Management and Organisation, and History of Philosophy at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Free University Amsterdam), Amsterdam, Netherlands.
He studied at Tübingen University, Munich University, and Virginia Tech where he received his Doctorate in Philosophy. Dr. Koslowski received his Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Munich and from 1985-87 he was a Professor and Director at the Institute for the Studium fundamentale at the University of Witten/Herdecke.
Dr. Koslowski was the Founding Director of Forschungsinstitut für Philosophie Hannover (The Hannover Institute of Philosophical Research), Hannover, Germany from 1987-2001. From 1996-2001 he was the Founding Director of its Centrum für Ethische Ökonomie und Wirtschaftskultur (Center for Ethical Economy and Business Culture). He was a visiting Scholar and Advisor for the Liberty Fund, Inc., Indianapolis, USA, 2002-2003; and from 2003-2004 he was a Fellow for the International Center for Economic Research (ICER) in Torino, Italy. Throughout 1987-2004 he was an adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Political Economy, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten and Herdecke, Germany.
To read more of Dr. Peter Koslowski’s curriculum vitae, please visit www.fiph.de/koslowski.