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Continuity and change in Keynes's thought: the importance of Hume


  • David Andrews


Keynes's economic thought underwent a major transition during the course of his life; in recent years a debate has arisen over whether Keynes's philosophical thought underwent a similar transition. This paper argues that, despite the existence of significant continuities, Keynes's philosophical thinking did undergo a major change, and specifically that this change can be seen clearly when Keynes's philosphy is viewed in the context of the philosophy of David Hume: the early Keynes attempted to answer Hume's analysis of induction, but the later Keynes accepted Hume's sceptical conclusion that custom and not reason is the 'guide of life'.

Suggested Citation

  • David Andrews, 1999. "Continuity and change in Keynes's thought: the importance of Hume," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 1-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:6:y:1999:i:1:p:1-21
    DOI: 10.1080/10427719900000122

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    Cited by:

    1. André Lapidus, 2000. "La rationalité du choix passionnel : En quête de l'héritage de David Hume," Post-Print hal-00343939, HAL.
    2. Ginzburg, Andrea, 2014. "Two translators: Gramsci and Sraffa," Centro Sraffa Working Papers CSWP1, Centro di Ricerche e Documentazione "Piero Sraffa".

    More about this item


    Keynes; Hume; Uncertainty; Induction; Probability; Rationality;


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