Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy - Vol. 1

Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy - Vol. 1

Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There are very few scientific books whose permanent place in literature seems so well established as that ofJohn Stuart Mill "Principles of Political Economy." Even though it be true that Adam Smith was a more suggestive writer, Malthus a more original one, Ricardo a more logical one the fact yet remains that Mill knew how to sum up the discoveries of all three, and give them coherence in the popular mind. His greatness lay not in the discovery of new truths for future generations, but in the full expression of present truths on which the men of his own generation were relying. Whatever changes may be made in economic theory as a, whole, Mill's book will always have monumental importance as a record of the particular economic theories which inspired the political development of the first half of the nineteenth century. Whatever we may think of its soundness as an analysis of human conduct, there can be no question of its surpassing value as a historic document. Perhaps it gives an imperfect or false picture of the way in which men act; but there is no doubt that it gives a wondrously perfect and true picture of the way in which intelligent men in the middle of the nineteenth century supposed themselves to act.

The best introduction to Mill's book is an account of the influences under which it was conceived. For, just as the Elizabethan drama depended on its audience for no small part of its inspiration, and reflected in its character the spirit of Drake and Raleigh, no less than that of Marlowe or Shakespeare, so the Victorian economics was inspired by the nineteenth-century English public and reflected the spirit of those statesmen, who in the first half of that century, had laid the foundation for English commercial empire.

Mill "Political Economy" was issued in 1948. Not quite three-quarters of a century had elapsed since the appearance of the only other book on the same subject which has rivalled it . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.