Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science by Lionel Robbins

By Lionel Robbins

This e-book through Lionel Robbins first seemed in 1932 as a very good English-language assertion of the Misesian view of financial technique, particularly that economics is a social technological know-how and needs to improve its propositions via deductive reasoning and never during the tools utilized in the usual sciences. The case is argued the following with endurance and a focus to scholarly information. the unlucky moment version of this booklet, that's extra on hand this present day, introduces confusions by means of departing from Austrian microeconomic conception. hence does the Mises Institute have a good time the seventy fifth anniversary of the 1st variation with this reprint.
"Reading Robbins," writes Samuel Bostaph of the collage of Dallas, "is a very good approach of contrasting his rationalization of the elemental nature of economics with that of the Austrian institution, as present in the paintings of Mises as an extension of Carl Mengers's foundations. this sort of interpreting splendidly clarifies one's knowing of the fundamental belief of economics as a technological know-how of human motion, instead of one among mere 'economizing.'

156 pages, 6" x 9", paperback

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1 Æsthetics is concerned with certain kinds of ends. The Æsthetic is an end which offers itself for choice in competition, so to speak, with others. Economics is not concerned at all with any ends as such. It is concerned with ends in so far as they affect the disposition of means. It takes the ends as given in scales of relative valuation, and enquires what consequences follow in regard to certain aspects of behaviour. But, it may be argued, is it not possible to regard the procuring of money as something which competes 1 It is only fair to state that there are passages in the same essay which seem to be dictated by this sort of consideration.

190-192. It is, perhaps, worth noting that most contemporary discussion of the so-called Transport Problem completely ignores these elementary considerations. If there is a concealed subsidy to motor transport through public expenditure on roads, this is a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It is no argument for attempting to make people go by train who prefer to travel by road. If we want to preserve railways which are unprofitable in the present conditions of demand, we should subsidise them as ancient monuments.

Your economist is a true tragedian. 1 Æsthetics is concerned with certain kinds of ends. The Æsthetic is an end which offers itself for choice in competition, so to speak, with others. Economics is not concerned at all with any ends as such. It is concerned with ends in so far as they affect the disposition of means. It takes the ends as given in scales of relative valuation, and enquires what consequences follow in regard to certain aspects of behaviour. But, it may be argued, is it not possible to regard the procuring of money as something which competes 1 It is only fair to state that there are passages in the same essay which seem to be dictated by this sort of consideration.

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