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By Lionel Robbins

ISBN-10: 069101244X

ISBN-13: 9780691012445

ISBN-10: 1400813093

ISBN-13: 9781400813094

Somebody analyzing those lectures can, and without doubt will, appreciate their type, the variety of fabric they disguise, the astonishing highbrow brilliance, and the stimulation they provide.--From the foreword by means of William J. Baumol, long island college

Lionel Robbins's now well-known lectures at the background of monetary suggestion contain one of many maximum bills considering international battle II of the evolution of monetary principles. 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 concept, method, and coverage research, directed the commercial component to Winston Churchill's conflict cupboard, and served as chairman of the monetary instances . As a historian of monetary principles, he ranks with Joseph Schumpeter and Jacob Viner as one of many best students of the century. those lectures, introduced on the London university of Economics among 1979 and 1981 and tape-recorded via Robbins's grandson, show his mastery of the highbrow background of economics, his infectious enthusiasm for the topic, and his eloquence and incisive wit. They conceal a large chronological diversity, starting with Plato, Aristotle, and Aquinas, focusing generally 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 various 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 speak about people, occasionally speak about periods." The lectures are united via Robbins's conviction that it's most unlikely to appreciate accurately modern associations and social sciences with no knowing the tips in the back of their improvement.

Authoritative but obtainable, combining the immediacy of the spoken observe with Robbins's unheard of expertise for transparent, well-organized exposition, this quantity can be welcomed through somebody drawn to the highbrow origins of the fashionable global.

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The number of shoes which are equivalent to a house or a meal. As a builder then is to a cobbler, so must so many shoes be to a house or a meal; for otherwise there would be no exchange or association. But this will be impossible, unless the shoes and the house or meal are in some sense equalized. Hence arises the necessity of a single universal standard of measurement, as was said before. This standard is in truth the demand for mutual services, which holds society together. [Aristotle, 1948, p.

He must. 14 • L E C T U R E 1 • And if so, we must infer that all things are produced more plentifully and easily and of a better quality when one man does one thing which is natural to him and does it at the right time, leaving other crafts alone. [Plato, 1953b, pp. 211–12] Well, there you are. There are the sum of the principles, more or less correctly stated, of the division of labour. ” And then he goes on to moralize. Now, you will notice that there is a great difference between the principles of the division of labour and the principles of the division of labour here in the famous first chapter of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations [1776].

Now, anticipations. The anticipations of economic thought in the past spring from two rather different sources: On the one hand you have anticipations in moral philosophy from the Greeks, through the Scholastics, through the early modern lawyers and philosophers. And then secondly, you have anticipations in ad hoc pamphlets—pamphlets or monographs or sometimes rather heavy books written by government officials, by merchants, by theologians, anxious to argue a particular case, a particular abuse—the debasement of a currency for instance, or protection for a certain group of industries, or, in a wider sense, particular measures to safeguard the balance of payments.

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