Unintended Consequences

  title={Unintended Consequences},
  author={R. Vernon},
  journal={Political Theory},
  pages={57 - 73}
RICHARD VERNON Vniversily of Western Ontario u HAT ACTIONS REGULARLY BRING about consequences unintended by the actor is scarcely a controversial point. According to Robert Merton, “virtually every substantial contributor to the long history of social thought” has dealt with the matter:’ Sartre would remove even these qualifications, for “everybody has always known,” he once wrote, that “the consequences of our actions always end up by escaping us.”* But, if the notion of unintended… Expand


Man and Society in an Age of Reconstruction
  • 197
See especially Hayek's trilogy in progress, h b v , Legislation, and Liberty
  • 1973
1 describe this sequence from Keaton's film from memory.and may haveslipped upon thisorthat detail. 39. As Maurice Cranston points out in Freedom: A New Analysis
  • 1967
See Duncan Forbes' introduction to Adam Ferguson, An Essay on the History o/ Civil Society
  • 1966
Unintended consequences are generally discussed in this much more positive light in Popper's later Objective Knowledge (Oxford, 1972), especially chapter 3. 41
  • CollectedPapers on Aesthetics
  • 1965
). I have discussed this divergence between Hayek's views and some of Popper's views in"The Great Society'and the 'Open Society
  • Popper writes: "today, things may begin to be different, owing to our slowly increasing knowledge of society
  • 1961
See especially The Poverty of Historicism
  • 1961
Hegel's use of Smith is discussed by Jean Hyppolite
  • Studies on Afarx and Hegel
  • 1956