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Wicksteed, Robbins and the Emergence of Mainstream Economic Methodology


  • S. A. Drakopoulos


Phillip Wicksteed's ideas played an important role in the history of economic methodology, first, because his views represent the starting point of the deliberate attempt to expel hedonism from marginalist economic analysis, and secondly because his ideas influenced his prominent disciple Lionel Robbins. The current mainstream view of an allegedly value-free economic science can be traced to Robbins. The paper examines Wicksteed's conception of economic science and the role of hedonism. His views on the nature and the role of economic man, and his analysis of egoism and of altruistic behaviour are also discussed. The paper assesses Wicksteed's influence, via Robbins, on the formation of mainstream methodological views.

Suggested Citation

  • S. A. Drakopoulos, 2011. "Wicksteed, Robbins and the Emergence of Mainstream Economic Methodology," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 461-470.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:23:y:2011:i:3:p:461-470
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2011.583837

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dow, Sheila, 2002. "Economic Methodology: An Inquiry," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198776123.
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