Adam's Fallacy A Guide to Economic Theology

ISBN-10: 0674027299

ISBN-13: 9780674027299

Edition: 2006

Authors: Duncan K. Foley

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This book could be called "The Intelligent Person's Guide to Economics." Like Robert Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers, it attempts to explain the core ideas of the great economists, beginning with Adam Smith and ending with Joseph Schumpeter. In between are chapters on Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, the marginalists, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Thorstein Veblen. The title expresses Duncan Foley's belief that economics at its most abstract and interesting level is a speculative philosophical discourse, not a deductive or inductive science. Adam's fallacy is the attempt to separate the economic sphere of life, in which the pursuit of self-interest is led by the invisible hand of the market to a socially beneficial outcome, from the rest of social life, in which the pursuit of self-interest is morally problematic and has to be weighed against other ends. Smith and his successors argued that the market and the division of labor that is fostered by it result in tremendous gains in productivity, which lead to a higher standard of living. Yet the market does not address the problem of distribution--that is, how is the gain in wealth to be divided among the classes and members of society? Nor does it address such problems as the long-run well-being of the planet. Adam's Fallacy is beautifully written and contains interesting observations and insights on almost every page. It will engage the reader's thoughts and feelings on the deepest level.
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Book details

List price: $23.50
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 4/30/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

Duncan K. Foley is Leo Model Professor at the New School for Social Research.

Adam's Vision
The Division of Labor
The Theory of Value
Capital Accumulation
The Invisible Hand and the State
Smith's Theory of Money
Adam's Fallacy Revisited
Gloomy Science
Second Thoughts
Malthus and Population
The Context of Malthus's Essay
Malthus's Postulates
Malthusian Logic
Population and Food since Malthus's Time
Ricardo and the Limits to Growth
Ricardo's Labor Theory of Value
Accumulation and the Stationary State
Richardo's Views on Machinery
The Political Economy of Poverty
The Severest Critic
Historical Materialism
The Commodity and the Theory of Value
Capitalist Exploitation
Accumulation and the Falling Rate of Profit
Primitive Accumulation
The Transition to Socialism
Marx and Proletarian Revolution
Marxist Theory and Social Change
On the Margins
Adam's Fallacy Needs New Shoes
Where Do Prices Come From?
Marginalism and Social Welfare
Marginalism and Time
Veblen and Conspicuous Consumption
Voices in the Air
John Maynard Keynes
World Capitalism in Keynes's Time
Say's Law and Laissez-Faire
Labor Markets and Unemployment
Expectations and Money
The Fate of Capitalism
Complexity vs. Collectivism
The Prophet of Technology
Grand Illusions
Looking in the Mirror
Two-Armed Economists
Escaping Adam's Fallacy
Face to Face with Adam's Curse
Reading Further
Demographic Equilibrium
Theories of Money and Prices
Ricardo's Theory of Rent and Accumulation
Decomposition of the Value of Commodities
The Working Day
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