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Retailing Poisoned Milk? New Evidence on Keynes and Jevons's Hostility to John Stuart Mill


  • Michael V. White
  • Takutoshi Inoue


In his 1936 memoir of W. Stanley Jevons, J. M. Keynes argued that Jevons's pronounced hostility to the dominance of J. S. Mill's political economy was due, in large part, to the imposition of Mill's work on Jevons's teaching at Owens College (subsequently the University of) Manchester. Keynes reported that a recently discovered set of student lecture notes confirmed his argument. He was subsequently accused of poor scholarship in that regard, because the contents of the one known set of student notes did not tally with his description. It is shown here, however, that Keynes was referring to a different set of notes that have only recently been located. Keynes was misled, nevertheless, in assuming that the notes he examined could establish his case. Moreover, although Jevons's statements could be confusing, the available evidence indicates that his complaints about the constraints on his teaching were principally concerned with logic and philosophy, rather than with political economy

Suggested Citation

  • Michael V. White & Takutoshi Inoue, 2009. "Retailing Poisoned Milk? New Evidence on Keynes and Jevons's Hostility to John Stuart Mill," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 419-444, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:41:y:2009:i:3:p:419-444

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