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Valuing (and Teaching) the Past

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  • Sandra J. Peart
  • David M. Levy

Abstract

There is a difference between the private and social cost of preserving the past. Although it may be privately rational to forget the past, the social cost is significant: We fail to see that classical political economy is analytically egalitarian. The past is a rich source of surprises and debates, and resources on the Web are uniquely suited to teaching such wide-ranging debates. Our Secret History of the Dismal Science, at www.econlib.org, provides a series of windows on the literary and analytical texts and the artwork that figured in the debates. Students who read Smith juxtaposed with Whitman, who read the Carlyle-Mill exchange, and who see these images, understand the debate in a way that students who read only the Wealth of Nations , Ricardo's Principles , or John Stuart Mill cannot.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3200/JECE.36.2.171-184
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of Economic Education.

Volume (Year): 36 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 171-184

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:36:y:2005:i:2:p:171-184

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