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No one would argue it’s a good thing
Marshall’s was not the only attempt to see economic science as essentially a consequence of measurability. An interesting point of view in this regard was presented in an essay in 1893 by an eminent American contemporary of Marshall, Simon Patten. Inthe classical economic system, Patten explained, economics was unfortunately divorced from utilitarianism.
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It will be seen in subsequent chapters that the classification of definitions of the economic point of view into Types A and B is far from an exhaustive one. The voluminous literature since the turn of the century dealing with the problem of definition reveals, indeed, the entire range of formulations that are discussed in this essay. Nevertheless, it remains true that the most outstanding development in the history of the problem is the switch from the search for a department of human affairs to which the adjective “economic” applies, to the search for the appropriate of affairs in which economic concepts are of relevance. (It should be noticed that almost all the numerous formulations of the specific point of view of economic science are considered by theirauthors, not as describing a new science, but as offering a more consistent characterization of the existing discipline.) The emergence of the Type B definitions is reflected in a considerable body of literature on the continent as well as in the English–speaking countries. Type A definitions are treated in the second chapter of this essay, and the transition to Type B definitions is traced in the sixth chapter. Type B definitions are associated especially with the name of Professor Robbins, whose work of 1930 has had an outstandingly stimulating effect on all subsequent discussions.