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The History of Economic Thought (Economic Ideas and Thinkers)

Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Historicism And Organicism In Economics. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product. Email address. Through dissections of arguments about developmental processes and research methodologies made by James Prichard, Robert Knox, and Francis Galton, among others, Sera-Shriar makes the point that there was more continuity in the intellectual history of Victorian anthropology than historians have claimed, and that there was no sudden rush towards evolutionary thinking in the closing decades of the century.

Anyone interested in these issues will want to consult his monograph, which deals with the same topic. He argues, with some force, that research into the subject has tended to congeal around a small, unrepresentative sample of language science projects, and that we are a considerable way from being able to make general claims about the career of 19th-century linguistics — or about the status of particular developmental historicist arguments within it.

The meat of the chapter, however, is very much more specific, comprising an overview of Victorian interest in Icelandic. Tomalin connects these shifts with changing arguments about the character of linguistic progress, corruption, and decay, and demonstrates how different linguists employed different kinds of historicism. It is an excellent case study, but the main point of the chapter is to demonstrate the general shortcomings of the state of the literature on Victorian linguistics.

It advertises itself as being about how the project of the history of man in 19th-century novels absorbed scientific, especially organic, developmental models; and it is as much about those models as about literature, spending as much time on Herder with additional musings about Kant, Lamarck, Goethe, Schlegel, Lyell, and Cuvier as on Scott. In other words, Duncan aims to show that Victorian novelists did complex things with Enlightenment theories and new departures in the natural sciences. It is an exuberant piece, but becomes at points difficult to follow, probably because so much material is being compacted into such a small space.

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Mill, Carlyle, Samuel Smiles, Galton, etc. This is not just because of its elegance and erudition, but also because it is the only one to have a really pointed case to make about the nature of historicism and the human sciences in Victorian Britain. Young sets out to show that the employment of historicism as a philosophy of history was inseparable from religious belief for most of the 19th century. Its triumph was not inevitable, and historicism became the preferred style of university history only gradually, because amateurs remained influential within the professionalising discipline for much longer in Britain than they did in America or Germany.

Lesser figures like Walter Bagehot and Henry Hart Milman contribute to the argument along the way, and polite disagreements are registered with Michel Foucault and implicitly Richard Evans. It is presented as a case study in the relations between nature and history in Victorian political economy; it takes the form of a slightly oblique whistle-stop tour through a healthy swathe of the main preoccupations and protagonists Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Mill, Jevons, Ruskin of 19th-century British political economy, with an unusual amount of attention devoted to debates about coal supply.


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It is very nicely done, but much of the material is familiar. The passages on how political economists looked towards the past for ways of imagining the stationary state are very much to the point, but the only focused discussion of historicism the chapter offers is in its conclusion. Again, some of the material is available in a monograph. The final two chapters deal in different ways with British attitudes towards the wider world, and make some complementary points.

It deals especially with public arguments about the British Empire, taking place in the closing decades of the 19th century, and especially with the ideas of imperial enthusiasts. It examines British thinking about the ancient Roman and Greek empires and the lessons taught by their inevitable decline, before dealing with rhetorical attempts to establish that the British had in fact escaped the grip of these lessons by creating a fundamentally new form of progressive empire.

Bell above. The chapter feels fresher than many others in the book, taking us through a range of ways in which historical thinking was deployed within, and helped to frame, the emerging discipline of international law. The substantive discussion deals principally with the work of three men, the now-ubiquitous legal scholar Henry Maine, the ever-ubiquitous J.

Introduction

Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain will more than repay selective consultation. As it is to be hoped this summary has indicated, many of the chapters are based on excellent scholarship, cover fascinating topics, and hold important insights. But as a collection, it is not indispensable reading. Skip to main content.