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By Ernesto Screpanti

This e-book offers a accomplished assessment of the improvement of economics from its beginnings--at the tip of the center Ages--to modern advancements, together with a few major contributions of the Eighties. the commercial considered the final 50 years has been given specific consciousness to mirror the striking development in examine entire in this interval. The authors current conventional and smooth theories as a part of a ancient procedure. they've got not just surveyed fiscal suggestion from a theoretical standpoint, yet have reconstructed the highbrow weather from which new monetary theories have emerged.

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Extra resources for An Outline of the History of Economic Thought

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It should be 26 the birth of political economy noted that according to canon law and scholastic doctrine, only loans—and no other uses of money—could give rise to usury. Those who bought government securities on the market did not lend money to the Commune that issued them or to the citizen who re-sold them. Therefore, any earnings obtained could not be considered remuneration for the loan of money. Second, it was a right rather than a commodity that was bought on the market, to be exact, the right to collect an income and, in the event, a capital.

The economic activities of a household could not be studied in this way. All the actions of the single social cells would come under either ethics or politics, and those which could not thus be classified were not worth ‘scientific’ study. In other words, economics was not a ‘science’ because it was neither ethics nor politics. Indeed, Schumpeter is right when, in his History, he observes that Aquinas was not interested in economic questions in themselves, and that ‘it is only where economic phenomena raise questions of moral theology that he touched upon them at all’ (p.

Karl Pribram has pointed out that it was some of the nominalist thinkers, above all students and followers of Ockham, who, in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, made the first attempts at scientific reasoning in economics. Jean Buridan, who tried to explain the values of goods, not as what 32 the birth of political economy they should be, but as what they really are; and not as substance but as relational phenomena, expressions of human needs. Nicholas Oresme, who distanced himself from Thomism by attributing a real rather than a conventional value to money, a value linked to that of the precious metals from which money was made.

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