By Lionel Robbins
An individual analyzing those lectures can, and absolutely will, recognize their variety, the variety of fabric they hide, the staggering highbrow brilliance, and the stimulation they provide.--From the foreword by way of William J. Baumol, manhattan collage
Lionel Robbins's now recognized lectures at the heritage of financial inspiration include one of many maximum money owed considering that global battle II of the evolution of monetary rules. This quantity represents the 1st time these lectures were released.
Lord Robbins (1898-1984) used to be a remarkably complete philosopher, author, and public determine. He made very important contributions to monetary thought, technique, and coverage research, directed the commercial part of Winston Churchill's conflict cupboard, and served as chairman of the monetary occasions . As a historian of financial rules, he ranks with Joseph Schumpeter and Jacob Viner as one of many leading students of the century. those lectures, brought on the London tuition of Economics among 1979 and 1981 and tape-recorded via 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 wide chronological diversity, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, focusing commonly 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 historical past. As he says in his first lecture: "I shall move my very own candy way--sometimes speak about doctrine, occasionally discuss individuals, occasionally discuss periods." The lectures are united by way of Robbins's conviction that it's most unlikely to appreciate thoroughly modern associations and social sciences with no realizing the guidelines in the back of their improvement.
Authoritative but obtainable, combining the immediacy of the spoken notice with Robbins's unheard of expertise for transparent, well-organized exposition, this quantity may be welcomed through somebody drawn to the highbrow origins of the fashionable global.
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Extra resources for A history of economic thought
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.
16] Well, then he says: Let us begin our discussion of the question with the following considerations: —I propose to read you a bit— Of everything which we possess there are two uses: both belong to the thing as such, but not in the same manner, for one is the proper, and the other the improper or secondary use of it. For example, a shoe is used for wear, and is used for exchange; both are uses of the shoe. He who gives a shoe in exchange for money or food to him who wants one, does indeed use the shoe as a shoe, but this is not its proper or primary purpose, for a shoe is not made to be an object of barter.
Well, so much for Plato and the division of labour. At the beginning of my lecture tomorrow I will say just a word about the nature of the Laws. I shall be spending most of the time • I N T R O D U C T I O N — P L A T O • 15 discussing Aristotle, who is much more germane to technical analysis than Plato’s remarks on the division of labour. NOTE 1. See Marx, “David Ricardo,” in Marx (1952, pp. 199–427). • L E C T U R E 2 • Plato and Aristotle I NEEDN'T spend time reminding you of what I said yesterday, at any rate at any length.
A history of economic thought by Lionel Robbins
Categories: Economic History