Philosophy and Political Economy
AUTHOR: Bonar, James
PUBLISHER: Transaction Publishers
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A remarkable collection of thought first published in 1893, Philosophy and Political Economy argues that economic theory is formed by and derives meaning from larger moral and philosophical systems and assumptions. It is a vast, highly nuanced survey of the economic aspect of major thinkers from Plato to Darwin and demonstrates how modern economic thought, in turn, grew out of philosophy.
James Bonar begins with a historical consideration of Plato and Aristotle, followed by discussions of the Stoics, Epicurians, and early Christianity. He then proceeds to an extensive treatment of the concept of natural law and natural rights, from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment, leading to the dominant modes of nineteenth-century thought: utilitarianism, idealism, and materialism. Bonar explores the philosophical topics on which the conduct of technical economic analysis is founded: human nature and human wants, the nature and role of the state, the relation of the individual to society, the nature and origin of property, and the role of ideals in socioeconomic life. He concludes by examining the implications of evolutionary theory in relation to economics.
The continuing interest of this volume for economists, philosophers, and sociologists lies in Bonar's contention that the fundamental question continuing to confound philosophy and economics is that of the changing the structure of power and opportunity in history. This is a classic in the history of economics as well as in intellectual history.
PUBLICATION DATE: 1/1/1991
CATEGORY: Business & Economics