Pareto's Methodological Approach to Economics: A Study in the History of Some Scientific Aspects of Economic Thought

By Vincent J. Tarascio | Go to book overview

II Pareto and His Time

PARETO THE MAN: A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

The Marquis Vilfredo Pareto was born in Paris, July 15, 1848, the son of Raffaele and Marie Mettenier Pareto.1 The father, Raffaele, was living in France in voluntary exile, having been a partisan of the Mazzini movement. He had arrived in Paris at the age of twenty-four. Not having emigrated from Italy with any personal fortune, he competed for a position as a civil engineer. The report of the examiners qualified him as a "sujet des plus distingués par son instruction et d'une capacité remarquable."2 He was called back to Italy in 1858 because of his proficiency in hydraulics, and the Pareto family settled in Turin, where Raffaele obtained a supervisory position on the Italian railways.

When of age, Vilfredo entered the Polytechnic Institute of Turin. While there he acquired a command of mathematics on a professional level. In 1869 he was graduated with a doctor's degree in engineering, having achieved first position in the final examination.3 The title of his dissertation was -- and this is mentioned because later he incorporated the same mathematical concepts into his general equilibrium analysis -- "The Fundamental Principles of the Theory of Elasticity in Solid Bodies, and the Researches Concerning the Integration of the

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1
There are many biographies of Pareto. The most worthwhile are: Luigi Amoroso , "Vilfredo Pareto," Econometrica, VI ( Jan., 1938), 1-21; G. H. Bosquet , Vilfredo Pareto, sa vie et son oeuvre ( Paris: Payot et Cie., 1928); Maffeo Pantaleoni, "Vilfredo Pareto," Economic Journal, XXXIII ( Sept., 1923), 582-90; the "Biographical Note" by Arthur Livingston in Pareto, The Mind and Society, trans. and ed. A. Livingston ( 4 vols.; New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1935), pp. xv-xviii; and Joseph Schumpeter, "Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923)," Quarterly Journal of Economics, LXIII ( May, 1949), 147-73.
2
Pantaleoni, Economic Journal, XXXIII, 589.

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Pareto's Methodological Approach to Economics: A Study in the History of Some Scientific Aspects of Economic Thought
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Studies in Economics and Business Administration i
  • Title Page v
  • Contents xi
  • I- Introduction 3
  • II- Pareto and His Time 6
  • III- Ethical Neutrality Requirement 30
  • IV- The Scope of Economics and Sociology 56
  • V- Pareto''s Methodology and Method in the Social Sciences 85
  • VI- Pareto''s Methodology and Method in Economics 104
  • VII- Conclusion 126
  • Index 147
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