Lionel Robbins at 75
| Peter Klein |
This year’s Austrian Scholars Conference featured a panel on the 75th anniversary of Lionel Robbins’s influential Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science. (Both the first and second editions of the book are available online at mises.org.) Robbins’s definition of economics as “the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between scarce means which have alternative uses” is sometimes considered so pedestrian, so completely subsumed into the mainstream of economic theory, that the book itself gets little attention today. However, as explained by the panelists at the Robbins session mentioned above, the book’s argument is sophisticated and nuanced, and definitely still worth reading.
The LSE, Robbins’s professional home, is hosting a conference on the book in December 2007, sponsored by the LSE and the journal Economica. “The purpose of this conference is both to renew the considerations of Robbins’s theme and reflect on the current nature and significance of economic science as well as examine Robbins’s own position from a historical perspective.” Details below the fold (courtesy of SSRN).
NB: Israel Kirzner’s first book, The Economic Point of View (1960), about the history of the definition of economics, is also now available online.
CALL FOR PAPERS
LIONEL ROBBINS’S ESSAY ON THE NATURE AND
SIGNIFICANCE OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE –
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Lionel Robbins’s
Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science.
The Department of Economics at LSE and the editors of
Economica have decided to mark this anniversary by a
conference and a special issue of the journal.
The purpose of this conference is both to renew the
considerations of Robbins’s theme and reflect on the
current nature and significance of economic science as well
as examine Robbins’s own position from a historical
PAPER SUBMISSIONS/FURTHER INFORMATION:
The conference will take place at LSE on the 10 & 11 December
2007. Authors who wish to present a paper should send an
abstract (no more than 300 words) to:
by 31st July 2007.
Amos Witztum and Frank Cowell