LAW, LEGISLATION AND LIBERTY. LONDON: ROUTLEDGE & KEGAN PAUL, 1973-79
3 volumes, 8vo, FIRST ENGLISH EDITION, INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO HIS SON ("To Esca and Larry | with much love from | Father") on front free endpaper of volume 1, compliment slip loosely inserted in volume 2, publisher's black cloth spine titled in blue and gilt, dust-jackets
"There are two ways of looking at the pattern of human activities which lead to very different conclusions concerning both its explanation and the possibilities of deliberately altering it. Of these one is based on conceptions which are demonstrably false, yet are so pleasing to human vanity that they have gained great influence and are constantly employed even by people who know that they rest on a fiction, but believe that fiction to be innocuous. The other, although few people will question its basic contentions if they are stated abstractly, leads in some respects to conclusions so unwelcome that few are willing to follow through to the end.
"The first gives us a sense of unlimited power to realize our wishes, while the second leads to the insight that there are limitations to what we can deliberately bring about, and to the recognition that some of our present hopes are delusions. Yet the effect of allowing ourselves to be deluded by the first view has always been that man has actually limited the scope of what he can achieve. For it has always been the recognition of the limits of the possible which has enabled man to make full use of his powers." (from Vol. 1, Chapter 1)
Law, Legislation and Liberty is Hayek's last major work of economic philosophy in which he develops principles previously postulated in his first writings. The three-volume work was published over seven years and includes his most extensive analysis of the principles of social and philosophical economics.
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Dust-jackets with minor wear and soiling
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