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Economic Theory and Natural Philosophy
The Search for the Natural Laws of the Economy
In Economic Theory and Natural Philosophy Charles Clark sheds new light on the development of economic thought, paying particular attention to elements of continuity and divergence. The book offers many new insights into Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Victorian evolutionary social theory, the natural law foundations of the marginal utility revolution and axiomatic general equilibrium theory. In conclusion, the author argues that if economic theory is to be truly scientific it must develop a theory that is based upon history and social structure.
Economic Theory and Natural Philosophy is certain to arouse controversy and will be essential reading for all those interested in the history of economic thought and the current state of modern economic theory.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`Clark's discussion is wide-ranging; it blends his own critical reading of texts with the effective use of a particularly wide selection of secondary literature, and it contains material which should be of interest to anyone with a concern either for the history of thought of for methodology.' -- Jeremy F. Shearmur, Journal of the History of Economic Thought ` . . . it is clear that an important vision is emerging which presents a fundamental critique of the received history and meaning of economic theory. One hopes that more economists will be persuaded by these arguments and the profession can begin to reclaim its heritage as a social science.' -- Robert E. Prasch, Review of Social Economy `Clark has provided an incisive analysis of how economics has moved from a social science to a branch of mathematical logic. And that is no mean feat.' -- Hans E. Jensen, Eastern Economic Journal `This work deserves to be read and debated by serious scholars of economic thought, especially those whose primary focus is methodological.' `The merit of Clark's book is that it proposes a unitary thesis in explanation of why a large part of economic theory has turned away from historical and social interpretation to assume the structure of a formalized science. . . . an interesting thesis' -- Stefano Fiori, History of Economic Ideas