Terence Hutchison (1912-2007)
| Peter Klein |
Terence W. Hutchison, the iconoclastic British methodologist and historian of economic thought, died today. Hutchison’s Significance and Basic Postulates of Economic Theory (1938) was an early and influential attempt to incorporate logical positivism into economic method. Frank Knight’s excellent 1940 article, “What is ‘Truth’ in Economics?” is framed as a reply to Hutchison. Hutchison later sparred with Fritz Machlup on Mises’s methodology; Murray Rothbard sided with Hutchison. I enjoyed parts of Hutchison’s The Politics and Philosophy of Economics: Marxians, Keynesians and Austrians (1981). And who can forget his distinction between “Hayek I” and “Hayek II”?
NB: In an otherwise favorable review of my edited volume, The Fortunes of Liberalism, vol. 4 of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Mark Blaug took me to task for consistently misspelling Hutchison as “Hutchinson.” Good thing I left in that error to distract reviewers from the other errors!