Normative Issues In Marginalism: The Case Of P. Wicksteed
ABSTRACT Phillip Wicksteed’s ideas played an important role in the history of economic methodology. This is because of two reasons: The first was that his views represent the starting point of the deliberate attempt to expel normative issues from marginalist economic analysis. The second reason was that his ideas influenced his disciple L. Robbins, who was one of the first theorists to set the methodological basis for an allegedly value-free economic science. The paper examines Wicksteed’s conception of a positive economic science and the role of normative aspects. In the same context, his views on the nature and the role of economic man, and his analysis of selfish and altruistic behaviour are also discussed. Finally, the work combines the above with Wicksteed’s economic methodology in order to asses his overall role and influence on the development of the trend towards a value-free economic theory.
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