LDST 390-04 / ECON 260-02, SPRING 2012

SEMINAR ON ECONOMIC THOUGHT & POLITICAL JUSTICE

FINAL VERSION FOR STUDY PURPOSES

DATE

READINGS, ASSIGNMENTS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Tuesday, January 10th

WELCOME, AND WHY STUDY THE HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT?

Tuesday, January 17th

THE ANCIENT WORLD

[complete Stringfellow Barr’s Notes on Dialogue if not done in class]

Homer, Iliad, Book One (available free at Internet Classics Archive here)[1] @14p

Plato, The Republic, part of Book II (available at the ICA free here)[2]  @15p

Medema & Samuels 1-4 (“Pre-Classical Thought” and “Aristotle”) @4p

Medema & Samuels 5-13 (Aristotle, “Politics,” I.I-XI and II.V) @8p

Medema & Samuels 14-15 (Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics,” V.5) @2 p

Selections from the Hebrew Bible (fair use versions from Bible Gateway.com)

Σ = 53

To be discussed in class (responsible for exam):

Tuesday, January 24th

THE MEDIEVAL WORLD AND RENAISSANCE

Selections from the Christian New Testament

  • Matthew  6:19-33, 20:1-16, 21:12-13, 22:15-22, 25:14-30
  • Luke 12:13-21
  • Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-5:11
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12
  • Combined PDF of these available here @13 pages

Medema & Samuels 16-29 (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica) @13

Juan de Mariana, “A Treatise on the Alteration of Money”, pages 5-24 and 37-44 only, available here. @26 p

Σ = 52

Discussion questions are here.

Tuesday, January 31

MERCANTILISTS, PETTY,  MANDEVILLE

Furniss (1920) on the utility of poverty: 117-124 @7

Medema & Samuels 30-44 (Mun, England’s Treasure) @14

Medema & Samuels 45-56 (Petty, Taxes and Contributions) @11

Mandeville, Fable of the Bees, selections as follows:

  • The Fable itself; @10 pages
  • Standards of Living: start to “consciousness of guilt” near the end @4
  • On frugality: “To convince the champions” to “silver of Potosi” 116 @4
  • On the Division of Labor (second para to end): @1
  • On educating the poor: “the whole earth being cursed” on 178 to “remembers not that he had ever lived otherwise” on 180. @4
  • Combined PDF of all the Mandeville readings for convenience

Σ = 55

Discussion questions and reading notes are here.

Also: 1 page essay on one of the “evaluative questions” from last week (OR on the topic of Usury).

Tuesday, February 7th

PROPERTY AND MONEY

Medema & Samuels 57-77 (John Locke, Of Civil Government and Some Considerations of Interest): @ 20

Medema & Samuels 78-94 (Richard Cantillon, Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General): @ 16

Medema & Samuels 133-152 (David Hume, Political Discourses [“Of Money”, “Of Interest,” and “Of the Balance of Trade”]): @ 19

Σ = 55

Discussion questions are here.

Tuesday, February 14th

HUME AND SMITH ON JUSTICE AND MORALS

David Hume, “Of Justice” from the Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

(1809 [1751]) @ 20 pages

Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments (1869 [1759]), selections:

  • “Of Justice and Beneficence”: II.ii.1-3, 70-84 @ 14 pages
  • The “invisible hand ‘Mark I’”: TMS  IV.i, 158-165, @7 pages
  • The Character of the Individual, So Far as it Can Affect the Happiness of Other People: (IV. ii); pages 192 (bottom)-196 and 201 (bottom)-210 (@14 pages)

Combined Smith selections here.

Σ = 55

Prepare an outline of the Hume passage, either typed or written, and bring two copies to class.  Example is here. Online format for the outline is here.  

Tuesday, February 21st

THE WEALTH OF NATIONS: I

Medema & Samuels 153-174 and 179, last ¶  (Adam Smith, Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations): @ 21.  This selection includes the following themes: the Division of Labour (156-159), Principle Giving Rise to Division of Labour (159-161), Extent of the Market (161), Components of Commodity Prices (161-163), Natural and Market Price (163-165), Restraints on Importation / Invisible Hand (165-173), Conclusion of Mercantile System (173-174).  Note: since we have not studied the Physiocrats I have left out the WN except dealing with them. You are certainly free to read these passages if you wish.  

PLUS these additional selections from the Cannan Edition of 1904:

  • Workers and Wages (WN I.viii): 79 last ¶ - 85 (@6 pages)
  • Apprenticeships (WN I.x.II) 120 - 125 ¶ 1 (@6 pages)
  • Law of Settlements (WN I.x.II) 137-144 (@8 pages)
  • Small Banknotes Restriction (WN II.ii) 306-307 (@ 2 pages)
  • Interest Restriction (WN, II.iv) 338-339 ¶ 1 (@1 page)
  • Division of Labour and Education (WN V.i) 266 ¶ 1 - 270 (@ 5 pages)

A combined PDF of all of the Cannan edition Smith readings is here.

Σ = 49 pages

Additionally: “Specialize” in one of the above Smith topics - that is, be prepared to lead the portion of discussion about it. Write at least one discussion question pertaining to that section, and bring *two* copies of it to class.

Supplemented in class by the “Common Woolen Coat” example here.

Tuesday, February 28

THE WEALTH OF NATIONS II

& ORIGINS OF UTILITARIANISM

(We will complete the discussion of the Smith readings from last time.)

In addition, please read

  • Hutcheson 1726, short selection @ 2 pages
  • Bentham Selections - Medema & Samuels 180-191 (Intro Morals and Legislation, Manual of Political Economy, Anarchical Fallacies, Prin. of Civil Code) @12 pages
  • Bentham’s thirteenth letter in Defence of Usury, here, @12 pages

Σ = 26 pages. Discussion questions here.

AND

Write a 1-2 page essay on whether Smith’s views, taken as a whole, seem to be “left,” “right” or neither in the context of the modern American political spectrum.  Be sure to ground your argument in the WN text you have read.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSING A PAPER TOPIC TO INSTRUCTOR - 12 pm on Friday,  March 2

Tuesday, March 6th

SPRING BREAK - NO CLASS

Tuesday, March 13th

THE MALTHUSIAN CONTROVERSY

  • Thomas Robert Malthus, 1798. Essay on the Principle of Population (1st Ed.), Medema & Samuels 193-207 (@15 pages)
  • William Hazlitt 1807,  Malthus and the Liberties of the Poor (4 pages)
  • William Godwin 1820, Of Population, Medema & Samuels 208-219 (12 p)
  • Garrett Hardin 1998,  The Feast of Malthus (@7 pages)
  • Julian Simon 1998, The Ultimate Resource II, Chapter 6 (“What are the Limits on Food Production?”) and Chapter 24 (“Do Humans Breed Like Flies? Or like Norwegian Rats?” (@17 pages combined)

Note: Simon passed away in 1998, but he put The Ultimate Resource II on his website before then - free for non-commercial use.

Σ = 55 pages

Also: “Specialize” in one of the readings above. Master its argument, write a discussion question for it, and make some notes to answer your own DQ.  As before bring two copies of your question: one for you to reference and one to turn in.

Tuesday, March 20th

THE CLASSICAL ECONOMISTS, LABOUR, AND POVERTY

Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation [1817]  Selections

(Medema & Samuels 259-272 [on value],  275-279 [on wages]) @19 pages

Nassau William Senior, A Letter to Lord Howick, selections (5-28, 46-51, total @30 pages but they are very easy going)

John Stuart Mill, Review of “The Claims of Labour,” selections as follows: 498-502 1st ¶; 504 second ¶ to 509; 512 bottom ¶ to 514 top ¶; 517 to 521 top  ¶; total about 17 pages.  

Combined PDF of all readings is here.

Σ = 66 pages

Write a one-paragraph “reaction” to ONE of the readings: it could be a disagreement, a puzzlement, an extension of a point made by the author. Be sure to quote the specific sentence that you are reacting to; or portion of the passage, if it’s too long to quote.  

Tuesday, March 27th

FREE TRADE AND BANKING

Trade

David Ricardo, Principles of Political Economy and Taxation [1817]  Selections

(Medema & Samuels 272-275 [on rent],  280-290 [on profits, and on trade]) @15 pages

 Malthus, Grounds of an Opinion on...Foreign Corn [1815], pages 3 (last ¶) -7, 10 (2nd ¶) -19, 23 (2nd ¶ through antepenultimate sentence), 46 (bottom ¶)- 48. @16 pages (easy ones!) PDF link here.

Banking (Bullionism)

Henry Thornton, Enquiry into the Nature and Effects of the Paper Credit of Great Britain [1802] (Medema & Samuels 220-234) @15

David Ricardo, The High Price of Bullion [1810] (Medema & Samuels 237-244) @9

All readings in Medema and Samuels except the Malthus, which is here.  

Σ = 55 pages

Thursday, April 5th

(Rescheduled Class)

The General Glut Debate

Jean-Baptiste Say, A Treatise on Political Economy [1821]  (Medema & Samuels 245-253) @9 pages

Thomas Malthus, Principles of Political Economy [1820]  (Medema & Samuels 295-302) @8 pages

THE DISMAL SCIENCE

David Levy and Sandra Peart: “The Secret History of the Dismal Science”

Thomas Carlyle, “Occasional Discourse on the Negro Question” (1849)  

Note: This is an overtly racist essay with extremely offensive language.  We read to understand.  @10

John Stuart Mill, “The Negro Question” (1850) @7

Combined PDF of the Mill and Carlyle Reading is here.

Σ = 53 pages

Tuesday, April 10th

KARL MARX

Karl Marx, interpretative essay and excerpts from the Critique of Political Economy and Das Kapital (Medema & Samuels 369-407) @39 pages

Σ = 39 pages

PAPER ROUGH DRAFTS DUE IN CLASS - 2 Copies

(In-Class Paper Workshop)

Tuesday, April 17th

RESEARCH PAPER PRESENTATIONS

Note: Course Evaluations will be completed during class, this day.  

Friday, April 20th

FINAL DRAFT OF RESEARCH PAPERS DUE - 5 PM

Friday, April 27th

FINAL EXAM - Friday, April 27, 7-10 PM  (regular room)

Works Referenced (Partial List)

Bland, Alfred Edward, and Richard Henry Tawney. 1919. English economic history: select documents. Macmillan Co.

         Furniss, Edgar Stevenson. 1920. The position of the laborer in a system of nationalism: a study in the labor theories of the later English mercantilists. Houghton Mifflin company.

       Hutcheson, F. (1726). An inquiry into the original of our ideas of beauty and virtue: in two treatises (2nd ed.). London: Printed for J. Darby ... [and 8 others]. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=XF4uAAAAYAAJ

       Malthus, T. R. (1815). The grounds of an opinion on the policy of restricting the importation of foreign corn, intended as an appendix to “Observations on the corn laws”. London: John Murray. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=HVcVAAAAQAAJ

Mandeville, Bernard. 1795. The fable of the bees: or, Private vices, public benefits.

With An essay on charity and charity schools, and a search into the nature of

society. Also, a vindication of the book from the aspersions contained in a

presentment of the Grand jury of Middlesex, and an abusive letter to Lord C---.

London: C. Bathurst.

Medema, Steven G, and Warren J. Samuels. 2003. The History of Economic Thought: A Reader. New York: Routledge.

        Smith, Adam. 1869. Essays on, I. Moral sentiments: II. Astronomical inquiries; III. Formation of languages; IV. History of ancient physics; V. Ancient logic and metaphysicis; VI. The imitative arts; VII. Music, dancing, poetry; VIII. The external senses; IX. English and Italian verses. London: Alex. Murray & Son. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=GBQRAAAAYAAJ

       Smith, Adam. (1904a). An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. (E. Cannan, Ed.) (Vols. 1-2, Vol. 1). London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=4VYNAAAAYAAJ

       _____. (1904b). An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. (E. Cannan, Ed.) (Vols. 1-2, Vol. 2). London: Methuen & Co. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=Dx8oAAAAYAAJ

       Simon, J. L. (1998). The Ultimate Resource 2 (Revised.). Princeton University Press.


[1] About 5,800 words, roughly 14 pages at 400 pages/word

[2] From “let us begin and create in idea a State” to the end. 6, 154 words, @15 pages at 400 pages/word