The Scope and Method of Political Economy

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Macmillan, 1891 - Economics - 359 pages
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Page 281 - The laws and conditions of the Production of wealth partake of the character of physical truths. There is nothing optional or arbitrary in them.
Page 40 - The distribution of wealth, therefore, depends on the laws and customs of society. The rules by which it is determined, are what the opinions and feelings of the ruling portion of the community make them, and are very different in different ages and countries; and might be still more different, if mankind so chose.
Page 111 - It makes entire abstraction of every other human passion or motive; except those which may be regarded as perpetually antagonizing principles to the desire of wealth, namely, aversion to labour, and desire of the present enjoyment of costly indulgences.
Page 279 - Mr. Ricardo had deduced a priori from the understanding itself laws which first gave a ray of light into the unwieldy chaos of materials, and had constructed what had been but a collection of tentative discussions into a science of regular proportions, now first standing on an eternal basis.
Page 134 - ... the proximate cause of every state of society is the state of society immediately preceding it. The fundamental problem, therefore, of the social science, is to find the laws according to which any state of society produces the state which succeeds it and takes its place.
Page 69 - But those exertions of the natural liberty of a few individuals, which might endanger the security of the whole society, are, and ought to be, restrained by the laws of all governments ; of the most free, as well as of the most despotical.
Page 277 - It is not to be understood that the natural price of labour, estimated even in food and necessaries, is absolutely fixed and constant. It varies at different times in the same country, and very materially differs in different countries*. It essentially depends on the habits and customs of the people.
Page 268 - ... the most reckless and treacherous of all theorists is he who professes to let facts and figures speak for themselves, who keeps in the back-ground the part he has played, perhaps unconsciously, in selecting and grouping them, and in suggesting the argument post hoc ergo propter hoc.
Page 68 - Only let us remember that it is a practical rule, and not a doctrine of science; a rule in the main sound, but like most other sound practical rules, liable to numerous exceptions; above all, a rule which must never for a moment be allowed to stand in the way of the candid consideration of any promising proposal of social or industrial reform.
Page 13 - Countries, in the cases for instance of slavery, legal monopolies, or poor laws, the natural state of things can be laid down as the general rule, and the anomalies produced by particular disturbing causes can be afterwards accounted for.

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