By Lionel Robbins
Someone interpreting those lectures can, and definitely will, respect their type, the variety of fabric they hide, the astounding highbrow brilliance, and the stimulation they provide.--From the foreword by way of William J. Baumol, manhattan college
Lionel Robbins's now well-known lectures at the historical past of monetary proposal include one of many maximum money owed due to the fact that international 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 vital contributions to monetary thought, method, and coverage research, directed the commercial element of Winston Churchill's battle cupboard, and served as chairman of the monetary instances . As a historian of financial rules, he ranks with Joseph Schumpeter and Jacob Viner as one of many best students of the century. those lectures, introduced on the London tuition of Economics among 1979 and 1981 and tape-recorded by means of Robbins's grandson, show his mastery of the highbrow heritage of economics, his infectious enthusiasm for the topic, and his eloquence and incisive wit. They disguise a vast chronological diversity, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, focusing largely 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 heritage. As he says in his first lecture: "I shall pass my very own candy way--sometimes speak about doctrine, occasionally speak about folks, occasionally speak about periods." The lectures are united through Robbins's conviction that it truly is most unlikely to appreciate thoroughly modern associations and social sciences with no figuring out the information in the back of their improvement.
Authoritative but obtainable, combining the immediacy of the spoken note with Robbins's unheard of expertise for transparent, well-organized exposition, this quantity may be welcomed by way of a person drawn to the highbrow origins of the fashionable global.
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Extra resources for A history of economic thought
But that I think is just a footnote. He obviously had some glimmering which may have communicated itself to subsequent writers, although in an obscure way. It’s not in my judgement one of the things that you have to put to his supreme credit as you do the distinction between use value and exchange value, his condemnation of trade, and his condemnation of usury, which, whether they were right or wrong, had tremendous influence hereafter. Now, there is no need, I think, in a course of this kind to go further into obscure references to economic matters among the Greeks.
And as you would find out if you read the whole of the Republic, the Guardians— very superior people indeed—are to discover what the differences of nature are and to fit the people into their places in that ideal republic, which some of you may think would be not so ideal. 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.
Up to the sixteenth-century and into the seventeenth-century he dominated philosophical thought, moral philosophy and so on. Then came a reaction. The poet Dryden echoed the reaction in very memorable terms. ” Dryden says: The longest Tyranny that ever sway’d, Was that wherein our Ancestors betray’d Their free-born Reason to the Stagirite, And made his Torch their universal Light. [Dryden, 1663/1961, p. 43] Well, his torch—although I should hate for you to think that I follow Aristotle in all that he had to say—was no mean torch, especially at that time of history.
A history of economic thought by Lionel Robbins