Retrospectives: Hume on Money, Commerce, and the Science of Economics
AbstractDavid Hume (1711-1776) is arguably the most esteemed philosopher to have written in the English language. During his lifetime, however, Hume was as well if not better known for his contributions to political economy, particularly for the essays published as the Political Discourses (1752). Hume left his mark on the economic thought of the physiocrats, the classical economists, and the American Federalists. Adam Smith, who met Hume circa 1750, was his closest friend and interlocutor for some 25 years. Among modern economists, Hume's essays on money and trade have informed theorists of both Keynesian and Monetarist persuasions. In this essay, we begin by discussing Hume's monetary economics, and then spell out his theory of economic development, noting his qualified enthusiasm for the modern commercial system. We end with an assessment of his views on the scientific standing of economics, specifically his counterintuitive argument that economics could be epistemologically superior to physics.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 25 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
- E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
- B11 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Preclassical (Ancient, Medieval, Mercantilist, Physiocratic)
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John F. Berdell, 1996. "Innovation and Trade: David Hume and the Case for Freer Trade," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 28(1), pages 107-126, Spring.
- Cesarano, Filippo, 1998. "Hume's specie-flow mechanism and classical monetary theory: An alternative interpretation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 173-186, June.
- Michael I. Duke, 1979. "David Hume and Monetary Adjustment," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 572-587, Winter.
- Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1996. "Nobel Lecture: Monetary Neutrality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 661-82, August.
- Mayer, Thomas, 1980. "David Hume and Monetarism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 89-101, August.
- Wennerlind, Carl, 2011. "Casualties of Credit: The English Financial Revolution, 1620-1720," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674047389.
- Madarász, Aladár, 2012.
"Adósság, pénz és szabadság
[Taxation, money and freedom]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 457-507.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.