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The Strange "Laissez-Faire" of Alfred Russel Wallace: the Connection Between Natural Selection and Political Economy Reconsidered

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Abstract

The first section of this paper briefly rehearses Wallace's Darwinian credentials. The second section outlines Wallace's deprecatory views of orthodox political economy. The third section considers the suggestion that Wallace, despite these views, was nevertheless an "individualist". The fourth section casts some doubt on the other evidence in favour of a natural selection: political economy connection. The fifth section toucheson the sociology of knowledge issues raised by the case of Alfred Russel Wallace.

Suggested Citation

  • Coleman, W., 1999. "The Strange "Laissez-Faire" of Alfred Russel Wallace: the Connection Between Natural Selection and Political Economy Reconsidered," Papers 1999-04, Tasmania - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:tasman:1999-04
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    Cited by:

    1. Leonard, Thomas C., 2009. "Origins of the myth of social Darwinism: The ambiguous legacy of Richard Hofstadter's Social Darwinism in American Thought," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 37-51, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    NATURAL SELECTION ; ECONOMIC HISTORY ; ECONOMIC THEORY;

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B30 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - General
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines

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