IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Early Evolution of the Assumption of Non-satiation


  • Lorenzo Garbo


The paper explores the mostly tacit transmission of the assumption of non-satiation from the outset of classical political economy to the advent of marginal analysis in Great Britain. The evolution of the assumption is traced back to contributions to the philosophy of mind in the early British enlightenment, which provided scientific ground not only to the economic agent's insatiable nature but also to a delusional dynamic of association that challenges the causality between acquisitiveness and pleasure. The paper claims that, because there is evidence that such delusional aspect was known to the early political economists, the assumption of non-satiation might have become a mainstay in economics not only for its scientific status but also as a result of a strategic choice that can only be explained within the political, cultural, and social context in which it was made. Had this been the case, the exportability of the assumption through time and space must be further questioned. The consistent inclusion of non-satiation in economic theories, policies, and institutions may have had extraordinary consequences, and may have nurtured rational behaviors that in fact fulfill the assumption itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Lorenzo Garbo, 2012. "Early Evolution of the Assumption of Non-satiation," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 15-32, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:24:y:2012:i:1:p:15-32
    DOI: 10.1080/09538259.2011.617595

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:24:y:2012:i:1:p:15-32. See general 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.