[OPE-L:4900] RE: Copernicus: not just a 'scientific revolution'

From: P.J.Wells@open.ac.uk
Date: Wed Feb 14 2001 - 10:35:23 EST

1) In case anyone should think that Alan's points about suppression are
overstated, I happened to come across the following shortly before receiving
his message: it is from the course catalogue of the Department of Economics
and International Development at the University of Bath, and the original
can be seen at


ECOI0012: Economic thought & policy 1 
Semester 1 
Credits: 6 
Level: Level 2 
Assessment: EX80 ES20 
Aims & learning objectives:
Aims of the Unit: 
* To familiarise students with a range of primary source texts written by
major economists from the late eighteenth to late nineteenth century. 
* To stimulate an interest and knowledge base in the historical development
of economics in Britain. 
* To convey the relevance of the economics of earlier writers to an
understanding of present day economic thought and debate. Learning
Students will have developed an understanding of the economic models and
contributions to policy of a number of major economists in the eighteenth
nineteenth centuries and the context within which these models were
relevant. Students will have acquired "first hand" knowledge through reading
The historical development of economic thought and policy from the beginning
of the industrial revolution in the eighteenth century to the emergence of
neoclassical economics. The main economists considered are Smith, Malthus,
Ricardo, J.S. Mill and Jevons. Key texts: Primary sources Ekelund and
Hebert,'A History of Economic Theory and Method'. R. Heilbroner,'The Worldly

ECOI0013: Economic thought & policy 2 
Semester 2 
Credits: 6 
Level: Level 2 
Assessment: EX50 ES50 
Aims & learning objectives:
This Unit extends the aims and objectives of Economic Thought and Policy 1
(ECOI0012) by considering the influence of late nineteenth and early
century economists on the development of economic ideas and policy. 
The main economists considered are Marshall, Pigou, Pareto, Wicksell, Myrdal
Ohlin, Hayek and Keynes. The course unit is organised around four broad
topic areas: The development of welfare economics from Marshall onwards; The
competitive model and increasing returns to scale; Money, business cycles
and effective demand in the 1920s and 1930s; Keynesian and post-Keynesian
macroeconomic policy. Key texts: G.L.S. Shackle,'The Years of High Theory'.
Ekelund and Hebert,'A History of Economic Theory and Method'. David
Laidler,'Fabricating the Keynesian Revolution'. Primary sources. 

2) Alan wrote:

>The historical analogy with Brahe is thus not, I think, 
>Ricardo as
>Julian proposes, but Bortkiewicz, and all subsequent twentieth-century
>Marxism, most of which amounts to squaring the circle by 
>reproducing Marx's
>conclusions with Walrasian concepts; to get the planets going 
>around the sun
>without uncomfortably displacing the earth from the centre of 
>the universe.

In the context of Alan's broader theme, I think he is entirely right in

My original post was an attempt (a rather strained one, perhaps) to
characterise Ricardo's relationship to Marx, the latter viewed as Kepler
(who, students of this area will recall, was the first to definitively
abandon the dogma of circular motion). In short, I was looking for a
cosmological analogue for Ricardo, not an economic analogue for Brahe.


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