Man and Economics
Man and Economics
Man and Economics is both a readable introduction to economics and a work in which a trained economist can find insights, formulations, and perspectives he has never encountered before.
“Man and Economics” is both a readable introduction to economics and a work in which a trained economist can find insights, formulations, and perspectives he has never encountered before.”
Preface to the 1968 edition:
Economics is the science of choice. It began with Aristotle but got mixed up with ethics in the Middle Ages. Adam Smith separated it from ethics, and Walras mathematized it. Alfred Marshall tried to narrow it, and Keynes made it fashionable. Robbins widened it, and Samuelson dynamized it, but modern science made it statistical and tried to confine it again.
But the science won’t stay put. It keeps cropping up all over the place. There is an economics of money and trade, of production and consumption, of distribution and development. There is also an economics of welfare, manners, language, industry, music, and art. There is an economics of war and an economics of power. There is even an economics of love.
Economics seems to apply to every nook and cranny of human experience. It is an aspect of all conscious action. Whenever decisions are made, the law of economy is called into play. Whenever alternatives exist, life takes on an economic aspect. It has always been so. But how can it be?
It can be because economics is more than just the most developed of the sciences of control. It is a way of looking at things, an ordering principle, a complete part of everything. It is a system of thought, a life game, an element of pure knowledge.
It is also useful in many ways, as the book tries to show.