Economic Doctrine and Method: An Historical Sketch

Economic Doctrine and Method: An Historical Sketch

Economic Doctrine and Method: An Historical Sketch

Economic Doctrine and Method: An Historical Sketch

Excerpt

Serious interest in the history of Political Economy did not develop until the classical system decayed. Although some bibliographies had been compiled in the eighteenth century only relatively little historical work had been done. Rossig's Versuch einer Geschichte der Oekonomie und Kameralwissenschaft, 1781, should be mentioned in this connection. Even during the first decades of the nineteenth century it was chiefly in Germany that scholars devoted themselves to this work: for example Weitzel's Geschichte der Staatswissenschaften, 1832-3, Baumstark's Cameralistische Encyclopädie, 1835, and von Mohl's Geschichte und Literatur der Staatswissenschaften, 1855-8. McCulloch's The Literature of Political Economy, 1845, was a brief catalogue with short notes and was valuable as such.

The book by Blanqui Histoire de L'économie politique en Europe, 1838, was very successful; it was the first attempt to produce a genuine history of our science, although it was rather superficial. The book by Kautz Geschichtliche Entwicklung der Nationalökonomie und ihrer Literatur, 1860, is of similar calibre and was far surpassed by the main work on the history of economic doctrine written by his teacher Roscher, Geschichte der Nationalékonomie in Deutschland, 1874. The latter was the result of the most diligent research and set the standard for a long time; it is worth reading even today in spite of some of its shortcomings. This is also true of the same writer's book: Geschichte der englischen Volkswirtschaftslehre, 1851. Nevertheless in vigour of presentation and mastery of the ideas described Dühring's Kritische Geschichte der Nationalökonomie und des Soζialismus, 1874, is far superior to Roscher's work.

Since then a survey of the whole history of Economics of equal importance has not been attempted in Germany. Eisenhart's Geschichte der Nationalökonomie, 1881, is devoted almost entirely to . . .

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