This book is not an easy read, at least not for myself! Much of its meaning evolves out of second and third re-readings but it does offer a profound insight into what I believe to be a major phase of the process of evolution, that of Phenomenal Evolution. I am in fact still reading the book and may well be doing so for some time!! The book itself actual equates itself with Theoretical Psychology seeking to make sense of sensory processes of classification in the context of functionality of the brain and mental development in relation to mind but for me its significance ranges far beyond this somewhat narrower field of interest, although of course its value, for all that it is now over 50 years old, is not in any way diminished as a result.
The biological processes involved in sensing external stimulations, transmitting information representative of the sensed stimulations, modification of cellular states as a result of secondary stimulation by representative information that then becomes representative of past history is remarkable and Hayek seeks to make sense of these processes. Not that the sequence of event stops there, on the contrary that is only the beginning, for, once in the biological body, the body and in particular the brain starts its own process of sensory awareness of its own state. A process that is a result of repetitive interpretation of the representative states that are initiated, at first by external stimulation, combined in all probability with epigenetic influences inherent in the genetic structure of the biological entity, and subsequently by both external and internal stimulations working in alliance. This is a process of mind-boggling complexity dependent on, as previously stated, interpretation of representational states and consequentially prone to error. Seeing this in the context of evolution and realising that the evolution of the brain brought with it the evolution of mind, Phenomenal Evolution, with this inherent tendency to error was enlightening to say the least.