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ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND DISCOURSE IN THE 20TH CENTURY

ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND DISCOURSE IN THE 20TH CENTURY

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The history of economics comprises the accumulated capital of the discipline; its study permits both the retrieval of important ideas and the conduct of analysis which places present day work in context. The essays in this book demonstrate some of the variety of uses to which the history of economics, as a sub-discipline, can be put.

Economic Thought and Discourse in the 20th Century commences with an essay on John R. Hicks, one of the leading economic theorists of the twentieth century and a writer with much to say about the nature of economic theory and the functions of the history of economic thought. An essay on Thorstein Veblen examines a figure who is at once both idiosyncratic and monumental, and whose work on war and peace is seen both to have been deeply prescient at the time it was written, and to be critically relevant at the close of the twentieth century. The third piece in this collection is a study of the discursive and interpretative structure of Alfred Marshall's Principles of Economics. More than a century after its publication, the Principles is widely regarded as one of the most important, and immediately influential, works of economic science ever written. Yet, it is argued, Marshall's use of language and argument may well have been equal in importance to the analytical techniques which he demonstrated. The concluding essay on the early journal history of law and economics places in perspective much of the contemporary work in this area and suggests that more could be expected from a field with such a rich and suggestive history.

These essays will make significant contributions both to their respective subjects and to the historiography of economics.

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