Among the wannabe Vienna coffeehouse chatterers of the mostly US-based (neo) Austrians, there has already been a subdivision for some time between "Misesians" (really Rothbardians) based at the Mises Institute at Auburn University with their flagship Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and the "Hayekians" (most of whom profess to admire Mises, if not always some of the followers of Rothbard at MI), based at George Mason University with their flagship Review of Austrian Economics. Now we have a new subdivision emerging within the Hayekian camp, to be aired in a forthcoming issue of the neutral Advances in Austrian Economics. Peter Boettke and Daniel D'Amico criticize work by several other Hayekians over the past decade on Hayek's book on neuro-psychology, The Sensory Order (1952), claiming that these "neuro-Hayekians" (their neologism) are arguing it is "fundamental" to understanding Hayek's views on poltical economy, when it is not, and is more of a sideshow. Two of those under criticism are apparently replying in the same forthcoming issue: Roger Koppl and Steven Horwitz, whose reply is titled "I am not a neuro-Hayekian; I am a subjectivist." What is going on here?
Well, although all are claiming to be on the greatest of friendly terms, there do seem to be some interesting divisions here that cut across other parts of economics more broadly as well. Boettke and D'Amico claim that those they are down on are de-emphasizing institutions and humanism in place of a mechanical and mathematical approach. Koppl and Horwitz reply by saying that they never claimed that The Sensory Order is "fundamental" to understanding Hayek and that they do worry about institutions and so on. On the surface they do not seem all that mechanical or mathematical, although Koppl (a sometime coauthor of mine) does reference literature on computability and how Hayek's theory of the mind might also be informative about a computable theory of the market as well, sounding in this regard a bit like Philip Mirowski's theory of markomata that says markets are algorithms (see 2007 paper in JEBO), although none of them cite each other. Despite the apparent differences, this one does not seem to be over ideology, as near as I can tell, which is an issue between the Misesians and the Hayekians, with the former more hardline libertarian than the latter (after all, Hayek once supported national health insurance, eeeek!).