The Character and Logical Method of Political Economy

W. McGee, 1869 - 184 páginas

The work on the “Character and Logical Method of Political Economy” may be recommended to students as a safe guide to help them through the mazy labyrinths which the earlier stages of the study present. The purpose of the work is to ascertain the true relation of Political Economy to the Physical Sciences on the one hand, and to the Moral Sciences on the other, both as regards method and compass. The supporters and opponents of Political Economy have each done it injustice by misapprehending its aims and limits. The study, as Professor Cairnes points out and explains with inimitable clearness, does not consist in an investigation into the causes of physical facts or the evolution of psychological processes. Political Economy begins at the point at which physical science and psychological science each end.


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Página 72 - The statesman, who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals, would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself...
Página 106 - The cause to which I allude is the constant tendency in all animated life to increase beyond the nourishment prepared for it.
Página 71 - A country that has no mines of its own must undoubtedly draw its gold and silver from foreign countries in the same manner as one that has no vineyards of its own must draw its wines. It does not seem necessary, however, that the attention of government should be more turned towards the one than towards the other object. A country that has wherewithal to buy wine will always get the wine which it has occasion for; and a country that has wherewithal to buy gold and silver will never...
Página 72 - The general industry of the country, being always in proportion to the capital which employs it, will not thereby be diminished, no more than that of the above-mentioned artificers ; but only left to find out the way in which it can be employed with the greatest advantage. It is certainly not employed to the greatest advantage, when it is thus directed towards an object which it can buy cheaper than it can make. The value of its annual produce is certainly more or less diminished, when it is thus...
Página 116 - It is an utter misconception of my argument to infer that I am an enemy to population. I am only an enemy to vice and misery, and consequently to that unfavourable proportion between population and food which produces these evils. But this unfavourable proportion has no necessary connection with the quantity of absolute population which a country may contain. On the contrary, it is more frequently found in countries which are very thinly peopled, than in those which are populous.
Página 72 - What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom. If a foreign country can supply us with a commodity cheaper than we ourselves can make it, better buy it of them with some part of the produce of our own industry, employed in a way in which we have some advantage.
Página 72 - It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy. The tailor does not attempt to make his own shoes, but buys them of the shoemaker. The shoemaker does not attempt to make his own clothes, but employs a tailor. The farmer attempts to make neither the one nor the other, but employs those different artificers.
Página 50 - As the science, which, accepting as ultimate facts the principles of human nature, and the physical laws of the external world, as well as the conditions, political and social, of the several communities of men, investigates the laws of the production and distribution of wealth, which result from their combined operation...
Página 180 - Whether this propensity be one of those original principles in human nature of which no further account can be given; or whether, as seems more probable, it be the necessary consequence of the faculties of reason and speech, it belongs not to our present subject to inquire.
Página 123 - The principal object of VOL. I. B the present essay is to examine the effects of one great cause intimately united with the very nature of man...

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