Some Leading Principles of Political Economy Newly Expounded

Some Leading Principles of Political Economy Newly Expounded

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Some Leading Principles of Political Economy Newly Expounded

Some Leading Principles of Political Economy Newly Expounded

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Excerpt

Though the following work is an attempt to recast some considerable portion of Political Economy, I should be sorry it were regarded as in any sense antagonistic in its attitude toward the science built up by the labors of Adam Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, and Mill. On the contrary, my hope is that it will should its reasonings find acceptance--strengthen, in some sensible degree, and add consistence to that fabric. As regards those assumptions respecting human character and the physical conditions of external nature which constitute the ultimate premises of economic science, the position I have taken is identical with that of the four great writers I have named; and I have endeavored also to follow the method of combined deduction and verification by comparison with facts, which was theirs, and which is, as I believe, the only fruitful, or indeed possible method in economic inquiry. Nor do the final conclusions which I have reached differ very widely on any important points from those at which they had arrived. The points on which I have ventured to join issue with them are what, in Bacon's language, may be called the axiomata media of the science--those intermediate principles by means of which the detailed results are connected with the higher causes which produce them. If I have not deceived myself, there is in this portion of Political Economy, as at present generally received, no small proportion of faulty material; and the present work may be regarded as an attempt, so far as it goes, to replace this element of weakness with matter better fitted to endure the strain of modern criticism.

The nature of the undertaking has brought me, much oftener than I could have wished, into collision with more than one living writer for whose abilities and acquirements I feel . . .

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