The William Petty problem and the Whig history of economics

Goodacre, H. 2014. The William Petty problem and the Whig history of economics. Cambridge Journal of Economics. 38 (3), pp. 563-583.

TitleThe William Petty problem and the Whig history of economics
AuthorsGoodacre, H.
Abstract

The term ‘Whig interpretation of history’ was applied by Herbert Butterfield to a particular current within English historiography, an outstanding characteristic of which was its tendency to praise revolutions provided they had been successful, the particular successes to which he referred being those of Protestants and Whigs over Catholics and Tories. He also acknowledged that his critique ‘possibly’ gave the phrase an ‘extended sense’ applicable to any current in historiography characterised by equivalently crude teleology and decontextualisation. It is with reference to this possible ‘extended’ sense that the phrase has gained currency in critical currents within the history of the natural and social sciences. The present case study of the secondary literature on the English writer William Petty (1623–87) argues that, while the two senses are of course conceptually distinct, they are nevertheless very much part of the same story if we are to explain how it has come about that the distortions indicated in the extended sense have become so deeply rooted in the economics mainstream’s portrayal of its own history.

JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
Journal citation38 (3), pp. 563-583
ISSN0309-166X
Year2014
PublisherOxford University Press
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1093/cje/bes073
Publication dates
PublishedMay 2014

Related outputs

Manmade Media? The Muffled Voices of Women
Knowles, D., Snijders, S., Clarke, L., Michielsens, E. and Goodacre, H. 2017. Manmade Media? The Muffled Voices of Women. 10th Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Conference. Brunel Business School, Brunel University London 28 Jun - 01 Jul 2017

Classical political economy
Goodacre, H. 2012. Classical political economy. in: Fine, B. and Saad-Filho, A. (ed.) The Elgar companion to Marxist economics Edward Elgar. pp. 53-59

Technological progress and economic analysis from Petty to Smith
Goodacre, H. 2010. Technological progress and economic analysis from Petty to Smith. European Journal of the History of Economic Thought. 17 (5), pp. 1149-1168.

Limited liability and the wealth of ‘uncivilised nations’: Adam Smith and the limits to the European enlightenment
Goodacre, H. 2010. Limited liability and the wealth of ‘uncivilised nations’: Adam Smith and the limits to the European enlightenment. Cambridge Journal of Economics. 34 (5), pp. 857-867.

Colonialism, displacement and cannibalism in early modern economic thought
Goodacre, H. 2010. Colonialism, displacement and cannibalism in early modern economic thought. in: Balfour, R.J. (ed.) Culture, capital and representation Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 16-34

Economics, geography and colonialism in the writings of William Petty
Goodacre, H. 2009. Economics, geography and colonialism in the writings of William Petty. in: Arena, R., Dow, S. and Klaes, M. (ed.) Open economics: economics in relation to other disciplines Routledge. pp. 233-246

"From Petty to Ricardo up to Sraffa". Review article on The wealth of ideas: a history of economic thought by Alessandro Roncaglia. Cambridge University Press, 2005. pp. xiv, 582.
Goodacre, H. 2008. "From Petty to Ricardo up to Sraffa". Review article on The wealth of ideas: a history of economic thought by Alessandro Roncaglia. Cambridge University Press, 2005. pp. xiv, 582. Economic Issues. 13 (1), pp. 106-108.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8y93w/the-william-petty-problem-and-the-whig-history-of-economics


Share this
Tweet
Email