A history of economic thought - download pdf or read online

By Lionel Robbins

ISBN-10: 069101244X

ISBN-13: 9780691012445

ISBN-10: 1400813093

ISBN-13: 9781400813094

A person examining those lectures can, and without doubt will, appreciate their type, the variety of fabric they conceal, the staggering highbrow brilliance, and the stimulation they provide.--From the foreword through William J. Baumol, big apple collage

Lionel Robbins's now well-known lectures at the historical past of monetary idea include one of many maximum money owed considering that international warfare II of the evolution of financial principles. This quantity represents the 1st time these lectures were released.

Lord Robbins (1898-1984) was once a remarkably comprehensive philosopher, author, and public determine. He made very important contributions to financial conception, method, and coverage research, directed the industrial part of Winston Churchill's struggle cupboard, and served as chairman of the monetary instances . As a historian of monetary principles, he ranks with Joseph Schumpeter and Jacob Viner as one of many top-rated students of the century. those lectures, added on the London university of Economics among 1979 and 1981 and tape-recorded through Robbins's grandson, demonstrate his mastery of the highbrow heritage of economics, his infectious enthusiasm for the topic, and his eloquence and incisive wit. They hide a huge chronological diversity, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, focusing greatly on Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus and the classicals, and completing with a dialogue of moderns and marginalists from Marx to Alfred Marshall. Robbins takes a different and inclusive method of highbrow background. As he says in his first lecture: "I shall pass my very own candy way--sometimes speak about doctrine, occasionally discuss individuals, occasionally speak about periods." The lectures are united by means of Robbins's conviction that it's most unlikely to appreciate safely modern associations and social sciences with no knowing the tips at the back of their improvement.

Authoritative but obtainable, combining the immediacy of the spoken note with Robbins's unparalleled expertise for transparent, well-organized exposition, this quantity should be welcomed by way of a person attracted to the highbrow origins of the fashionable global.

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And their anticipations of economics—and in the case of Aristotle it is extremely important and in the case of Plato it is outstanding but not so influential— their concern as moral philosophers with questions of an economic nature arose essentially with their concern with the good State. What was the good State? This was the urgent preoccupation of Plato in his famous Republic [1953b] and later on in his infamous Laws [1953a], which I don’t particularly recommend you to read (I shall quote a section from it in a moment).

The important thing from our point of view is that Plato is the first man, or first famous writer (and if the professor had read all of the books that may have been written), to enunciate the principle of the division of labour. He gets to this in the course of this absolutely fascinating discussion of justice in the first book of the Republic. They talk in a very highbrow and elevated way about justice, and the conversation is then interrupted by a Sophist who says, roughly speaking, that all this talk about justice in an idealistic sense is nonsense and that justice is what works, roughly speaking.

And he discusses this at length. Obviously the question had begun to be discussed in Athens. There were enlightened people—I use the word enlightened with a certain bias—who were beginning to question the institution of slavery, and Aristotle at any rate thought that as a moral philosopher he ought to give some justification thereof. Well, I am afraid I think that’s all very lame and dull stuff, especially when it appears incidentally that most of the Greeks—and one’s suspicion is that Aristotle himself—thought that most of them were born to give orders and the rest of the world, the barbarians as he calls them, were of the other nature, more fitted to receive orders than to give them.

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A history of economic thought by Lionel Robbins


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