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The Natural Origins of Economics$
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Margaret Schabas

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226735696

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226735719.001.0001

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Classical Political Economy in Its Heyday

Classical Political Economy in Its Heyday

(p.102) Chapter Six Classical Political Economy in Its Heyday
The Natural Origins of Economics

Margaret Schabas

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the works of several English economists and shows how their theories about political economy are indebted to natural philosophy. These include the works of David Ricardo, Thomas Robert Malthus, Nassau Senior and John Ramsey McCulloch. This chapter argues that there was a gradual shift toward the role of human institutions as the point of origin for economic phenomena and that commitment to providing a detailed account of human nature and of wealth as a natural phenomena had waned considerably.

Keywords:   English economists, political economy, natural philosophy, David Ricardo, Thomas Robert Malthus, Nassau Senior, John Ramsey McCulloch, human institutions, economic phenomena, human nature

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