“A Hard Battle to Fight”: Natural Theology and the Dismal Science, 1820–50
AbstractWilliam Whewell's and Richard Jones's criticism of Jeremy Bentham's and David Ricardo's “dismal” views on the relation of theory and evidence in political economy was motivated by the former's views on the structuring role of natural theology for questions of method and evidence in the sciences, including political economy. In comparison, natural theology was for Richard Whately as structuring on these issues as it was for the Cambridge men. Whately's view on natural theology, however, conformed with the Ricardian predilection for theory over facts. The differences between the Cambridge men and Whately became manifest after (or better: during) the publication of Jones's book on rent in 1831 and led to a somewhat acerbic exchange of views on the role of definitions in science and the use of history for establishing scientific evidence. As far as political economy was concerned, Whately's stance carried the day in Victorian England.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Duke University Press in its journal History of Political Economy.
Volume (Year): 40 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (Supplement)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Duke University Press 905 W. Main Street, Suite 18B Durham, NC 27701
Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page: http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?viewby=journal&productid=45614
theology; Richard Whately;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Center for the History of Political Economy Webmaster).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.