Fundamental Thoughts in Economics.

CASSEL Gustav (1925.)

£450.00  [First Edition]

Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.


First edition. 8vo (192 x 148mm). 159, [1] pp. Original green cloth, spine and upper board lettered in blue, fore and bottom edges untrimmed (spine faintly dulled, extremities lightly rubbed, some minor spotting to the front and rear endpapers, otherwise an excellent copy). London, T. Fisher Unwin Ltd. 

A fine association copy, from the library of the British economist Lionel Charles Robbins (1898-1984), with his ownership inscription dated '10/25' to the front free endpaper, a stalwart of the London School of Economics, where he held the position of Head of the Economics Department until 1960, and 'one of the major academic economists of the interwar period' (New Palgrave). Robbins presided over a golden era at the LSE, bringing in Frederick von Hayek from Vienna in 1928, and gathering together an outstanding new generation of "English-speaking continentals", including John Hicks and Nicholas Kaldor. Robbins' continued relevance to economic theory has been assured by his Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science (1932), one of the most important methodological statements on economics, and the source of its famous definition, 'Economics is the science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses'.

A popular work introductory by Gustav Cassel, based on lectures on 'Advanced Economics' that he had been invited to give at the London School of Economics in June 1923 at which Robbins was present while studying for his BSc in Economics. Robbins evidently enjoyed the book and provided a glowing review for the June 1926 issue of Economica, writing that: "A book by Professor Cassel is always an event in the world of Economics. Not only is [he] by common consent the most distinguished living exponent of analytical economics in Northern Europe, but he enjoys a reputation for successful prophecy during the war stretching far beyond the confines of university lecture rooms. He it is, who, together with Mr. Keynes, has given economists of our generation the right to hold up their heads, even in the very fastness of philistinism" (Robbins, p. 223). 

Some occasional underlining and marginal highlighting by Robbins, with one note to p. 27 mentioning his review in Economica, "But see my review Economica 1926", referring to a dismissive passage by Cassel on the notion of "'Crusoe Economics', upon which economic science has bestowed so much flattering attention. For economy, as we know it, is an essentially social process, and economic has therefore very little to learn from the study of the household of an isolated person". Robbins would challenge this view in his review of the book, asserting that the so-called "Man in Isolation" approach to theoretical questions in economics offers an element of "rational detachment".

Stock Code: 231066

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