Gide & Rist A History of Economic Doctrines A special effort has been made by the authors to bring into prominence such doctrines–whether true or false–as have contributed to the formation of ideas generally accepted at the present time, or such as are connected with these in the line of direct descent. In other words, the book is an attempt to give an answer to the following questions : Who is responsible for formulating those principles that constitute the framework– whether provisionary or definitive it is not for us to determine–of economics as at present taught? At what period were these principles first enunciated, and what were the circumstances which accounted for their enunciation just at that period? Moreover, it is to be remembered that since this book is intended primarily for students, it may be useful to show them in what respects certain doctrines are open to criticism, either from the point of view of logic or of observation. One cannot, be said to possess a knowledge of any doctrine or to understand it until one knows something of its history, and of the pitfalls that lay in the path of those who first formulated it. Doctrines have been grouped into families according to their descent & presented in their chronological order. The first epoch comprises the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. It deals mainly with the founders of Classical political economy. The second epoch covers the first half of the nineteenth century. The “adversaries” include all those writers who either challenged or in some way disputed the principles which had been laid down by their predecessors. The third epoch deals with the middle of the nineteenth century & the triumph of the liberal school, the second half of the nineteenth century constitutes a Fourth epoch, it deals with the historical school, the State Socialists, Marxism & Christian socialism. The fifth epoch comprises the end of the nineteenth century & the beginning of the twentieth century Hedonism, Solidarism & Anarchism has been dealt with it. History of Economic Doctrines, like all history of ideas, is to be regarded as a kind of struggle for existence. At one moment conflicting doctrines seem to dwell in harmony side by side, content to divide the empire of knowledge between them. Another moment witnesses them rushing at each other with tumultuous energy. It may happen that in the course of the struggle some of the doctrines are worsted and disappear altogether. But more often than not their conflicting interests are reconciled and the enmity is lost in the unity of a higher synthesis. And so it may happen that a doctrine which everybody thought was quite dead may rise with greater vigour than ever.

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