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Ranking among the most distinguished economists and scholars of his generation, Jacob Viner is best remembered for his work in international economics and in the history of economic thought. Mark Blaug, in his Great Economists Since Keynes (Cambridge, 1985) remarked that Viner was "quite simply the greatest historian of economic thought that ever lived." Never before, however, have Viner's important contributions to the intellectual history of economics been collected into one convenient volume. This book performs this valuable service to scholarship by reprinting Viner's classic essays on such topics as Adam Smith and laissez-faire, the intellectual history of laissez-faire, and power versus plenty as an objective of foreign policy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Also included are Viner's penetrating and previously unpublished Wabash College lectures. "Jacob Viner was one of the truly great economists of this century as both teacher and scholar. This collection .. covers a wide range with special emphasis on the history of thought. Today's economists will find [the essays] just as thought-provoking and as illuminating as did his contemporaries. They have aged very well indeed."--Milton Friedman, Hoover Institution "Jacob Viner was a great and original economic theorist. What is rarer, Viner was a learned scholar. What is still rarer, Viner was a wise scientist. This new anthology of his writings on intellectual history is worth having in every economist's library--to sample at intervals over the years in the reasoned hope that Viner's wisdom will rub off on the reader and for the pleasure of his writing."--Paul A. Samuelson, MIT "I am frankly jealous of those who will be reading Viner's essays for the first time, marvelling at his learning, amused by his dry wit, instructed by his wisdom. But although I cannot share their joy of discovery, I shall be able to savor the subtleties that emerge from rereading these splendid essays."--George J. Stigler, University of Chicago "This volume will be a treat for the reader who appreciates scholarship, felicitous use of language, and the workings of a great mind. The Wabash lectures are gems, and the introduction by Douglas Irwin contributes significantly to our understanding of Viner's accomplishments."--William J. Baumol, Princeton University/New York University

Originally published in 1991.

ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

eISBN: 978-1-4008-6205-4

Subjects: Economics

  • The preeminent literature includes the following: Joseph A. Schumpeter, ‘Science and Ideology’, American Economic Review, vol. 39 (1949), pp. 345–59, reprinted in Essays (Cambridge, Mass.: Addision-Wesley, 1951), pp. 267–81, and History of Economic Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1954);Google Scholar

  • Joan Robinson, Economic Philosophy (Chicago: Aldine, 1962);Google Scholar

  • Ronald L. Meek, Economics and Ideology and Other Essays (London: Chapman & Hall, 1967);Google Scholar

  • Oskar Lange, Political Economy (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1963);Google Scholar

  • Mark Blaug, Economic Theory in Retrospect, revised edn (Homewood, Ill.: Irwin, 1968);Google Scholar

  • T. W. Hutchison, ‘Positive Economics and Policy Objectives (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964);Google Scholar

  • Maurice Dobb, Theories of Value and Distribution Since Adam Smith: Ideology and Economic Theory (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1973);CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • and Gunnar Myrdal, The Political Element in the Development of Economic Theory (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955), Value in Social Theory (New York: Harper, 1958), Objectivity in Social Research (New York: Pantheon, 1969), and Against the Stream: Critical Essays on Economics (New York: Pantheon, 1973).Google Scholar

  • Suggestive contributions from contemporary Marxian and radical perspectives also may be found in Paul M. Sweezy, ‘Toward a Critique of Economics’, Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 2 (1970), pp. 1–8;CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • George Lichtheim, The Concept of Ideology and Other Essays (New York: Random House, Vintage, 1967);Google Scholar

  • Ralph Miliband, The State in Capitalist Society (New York: Basic Books, 1969);Google Scholar

  • and E. K. Hunt and Jesse G. Schwartz (eds), A Critique of Economic Theory (New York: Penguin, 1972).Google Scholar

  • The matter of psychological conditioning is discussed in A. L. Macfie, ‘Economics — Science, Ideology, Philosophy?’, Scottish Journal of Political Economy, vol. 10 (1963), pp. 212–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Programmatic aspects are discussed in Robert L. Heilbroner, ‘Economics as a “Value-Free” Science’, Social Research, vol. 40 (1973), pp. 129–43;Google Scholar

  • and in Adolph Lowe, On Economic Knowledge (New York: Harper & Row, 1965).Google Scholar

  • Property and ideology is discussed in Frederic L. Pryor, Property and Industrial Organization in Communist and Capitalist Nations (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973), especially pp. 433–7.Google Scholar

  • The harmony and conflict dichotomy in paradigm construction is neatly found in two companion articles: James M. Buchanan, ‘A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, vol. 65 (1975), pp. 225–30,Google Scholar

  • and Duncan K. Foley, ‘Problems vs. Conflicts: Economic Theory and Ideology’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, vol. 65 (1975), pp. 231–6.Google Scholar

  • Concerning ideology in capital theory, albeit in a highly technical discussion, see G. C. Harcourt, Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1972);CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • for a discussion relevant thereto but also touching broader considerations, see, Edward Nell, ‘Economics: The Revival of Political Economy’, in Robin Blackburn (ed.), Ideology in Social Science (New York: Random House, Vintage, 1973), pp. 76–95.Google Scholar

  • Still other aspects are discussed in John Kenneth Galbraith, ‘Economics as a System of Belief’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, vol. 60 (1970), pp. 469–78;Google Scholar

  • Kenneth E. Boulding, ‘Economics as a Moral Science’, American Economic Review, vol. 59 (1969), pp. 1–12;Google Scholar

  • and Erskine McKinley, ‘Mankind in the History of Economic Thought’, in Bert F. Hoselitz (ed.), Economics and the Idea of Mankind (New York: Columbia University Press, 1965), pp. 1–40.Google Scholar

  • A wide ranging critique of neoclassical and Marxist schools as systems of beliefs is given in Benjamin Ward, What’s Wrong with Economics? (New York: Basic Books, 1972).Google Scholar

  • For Frank H. Knight’s quest for a propaganda for economic freedom, see his ‘Theory of Economic Policy and the History of Doctrine’, Ethics, vol. 63 (1953), pp. 276–92; ‘The Role of Principles in Economics and Politics’, American Economic Review, vol. 41 (1951), pp. 1–29; and his earlier article, ‘The Newer Economics and the Control of Economic Activity’, Journal of Political Economy, vol. 40 (1932), pp. 433–76; and on Knight, see R. A. Gonce, ‘Frank H. Knight on Social Control and the Scope and Method of Economics’, Southern Economic Journal, vol. 38 (1972), pp. 547–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • For the institutionalist approach to ideological responsibility, see C. E. Ayres, ‘Ideological Responsibility’, Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 1 (1967), pp. 3–11. On the ideology of wealth, compare Lord Robbins, The Theory of Economic Development in the History of Economic Thought (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1968), especially pp. 150–76;Google Scholar

  • and Eugene Rotwein, ‘The Ideology of Wealth and the Liberal Economic Heritage: The Neglected View’, Social Research, vol. 40 (1973), pp. 267–92.Google Scholar

  • On the complex ethical character of Paretooptimality, see Warren J. Samuels, ‘Welfare Economics, Power and Property’, in G. Wunderlich and W. L. Gibson, Jr (eds), Perspectives of Property (University Park, Pa.: Institute for Research on Land and Water Resources, Pennsylvania State University, 1972), pp. 61–148.Google Scholar

  • An exchange of interpretations of ideology, among other considerations, is found in James M. Buchanan and Warren J. Samuels, ‘On Some Fundamental Issues in Political Economy: An Exchange of Correspondence’, Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 9 (1975), pp. 15–38.Google Scholar

  • Important materials from philosophy of science sources bearing on ideology in economics, often directly considered, are found in the following: Ernest Nagel, The Structure of Science (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1961);Google Scholar

  • May Brodbeck, Readings in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan, 1968);Google Scholar

  • Maurice Natanson (ed.), Philosophy of the Social Sciences (New York: Random House, 1963);Google Scholar

  • Elmer Sprague and Paul W. Taylor (eds), Knowledge and Value, 2nd edn (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1967);Google Scholar

  • and Gustav Bergmann, The Metaphysics of Logical Positivism (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967).Google Scholar

  • A wide ranging collection of essays is found in Sherman Roy Krupp (ed.), The Structure of Economic Science (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966).Google Scholar

  • The matrix approach to comparative study of doctrine is summarized in Warren J. Samuels, ‘The History of Economic Thought as Intellectual History’, History of Political Economy. vol. 6 (1974). pp. 305–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

  • Ideology in the history of economic thought is discussed in Robert V. Eagly (ed.), Events, Ideology and Economic Theory (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1968); Alexander Gerschenkron, ‘History of Economic Doctrines and Economic History’, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, vol. 59 (1969), pp. 1–17;Google Scholar

  • and Warren S. Gramm, ‘Natural Selection in Economic Thought: Ideology, Power, and the Keynesian Counterrevolution’, Journal of Economic Issues, vol. 7 (1973), pp. 1–27.Google Scholar

  • Contributions to the study of the development of ideology as a dependent and independent economic variable are to be found in George J. Stigler, ‘The Intellectual and His Society’, in Richard T. Selden (ed.), Capitalism and Freedom (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1975);Google Scholar

  • Robert A. Solo, The Political Authority and the Market System (Cincinnati: Southwestern, 1974), especially ch. 1;Google Scholar

  • Alexander Eckstein (ed.), Comparison of Economic Systems (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971);Google Scholar

  • and Warren J. Samuels, Pareto on Policy (New York: Elsevier, 1974).Google Scholar


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