Economic History

"to tear economic history out of its context and to study it by itself as if the economic activities of the epoch were something separate or separable from its other activities, or as if economic institutions had a history of their own, is to make it unintelligible or else to reduce it to propaganda in favor of the dubious dogma of the materialist interpretation of history." -- T.M Knox, "The Study of Economic Activity," Philosophy, 1936

6 comments:

  1. It's neat that you read old stuff. "The Study of Economic Activity" sounds most interesting.

    I don't know what "institutions" are. But economics is the study of monetary balances and changes in monetary balances. As such, they are inseparable from other activities, and are the driving force behind them: Money makes the world go 'round.

    Economic activity in every epoch empowers society, shapes culture, and drives the cycle of civilization.

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    1. There is nothing for economics to study in a society with barter?!

      "Economic activity in every epoch empowers society, shapes culture, and drives the cycle of civilization."

      No. Sheer assertion, unbacked by any facts.

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    2. > No. Sheer assertion, unbacked by any facts.

      I thought you might say something like that. See, I saved myself the trouble of presenting facts, and you rejected my thought anyway.

      It is disappointing that you reject such things. They are offered not as "sheer assertion" but as devices for opening minds.

      I do a lot of what should be called impressionist economics.

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    3. What do you mean "anyway"? You failed to present any evidence for your view, and yet I rejected it "anyway"?!

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    4. I hate it when I respond too quickly. It's fun at the moment. But all day today I spent worrying that I missed a key point or that i was in some other way stupid. (I'm pretty good at that.)

      But I stand by my "anyway". Every once in a while I eke out a sentence that strikes me as outstandingly interesting. I think my last sentence in the first of these comments is one of those.

      When that happens, I hope that people who know more than I know will be motivated by my brevity to fill in a few blanks for themselves -- and for me. If it is interesting enough, they will.

      Anyway: I don't think that the lack of an explanation is a good reason to reject an idea that has promise.
      (If you think it has no promise, that's fine.)

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    5. Well, no, I think it has been quite definitely refuted in fact.

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