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by Duncan K. Foley

  • ISBN: 0674023099
  • Category: Other
  • Author: Duncan K. Foley
  • Subcategory: Business & Finance
  • Other formats: txt mbr mobi docx
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Belknap Press (September 30, 2006)
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • FB2 size: 1817 kb
  • EPUB size: 1832 kb
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 525
Download Adam's Fallacy: A Guide to Economic Theology fb2

This book could be called âeoeThe Intelligent Personâe(tm)s Guide to Economics

This book could be called âeoeThe Intelligent Personâe(tm)s Guide to Economics. e Like Robert Heilbronerâe(tm)s The Worldly Philosophers, it attempts to explain the core ideas of the great economists, beginning with Adam Smith and ending with Joseph Schumpeter. In between are chapters on Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, the marginalists, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Thorstein Veblen

Adam's Fallacy is a stimulating tour d'horizon of the ideas of the great economists. As a long time student of the history of economic thought, this book, subtitled "A Guide to Economic Theology" offers a truly insightful perspective on Smith and other classical economists.

Adam's Fallacy is a stimulating tour d'horizon of the ideas of the great economists. Stanley Engerman, University of Rochester). It has always been my belief that there are a lot of people (some are pompous neo-cons) who quote Adam Smith and have never read him.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Adam's Fallacy: A Guide to Economic Theology as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

The title expresses Duncan Foley’s belief that economics at its most abstract and interesting level is a speculative philosophical discourse, not a deductive or inductive science.

A guide to economic theology. This is not, however, a book on the history of economic thought proper. THE BELKNAP PRESS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England. It uses a historical perspective as a happy way to organize a complex set of ideas into a coherent and understandable story. It re-ects much reading and teaching of particular texts in the history of economic thought, but I am far from an expert or a deep scholar of this extensive and demanding subject.

This book could be called "The Intelligent Person's Guide to Economics The title expresses Duncan Foley's belief that economics.

This book could be called "The Intelligent Person's Guide to Economics. Like Robert Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers, it attempts to explain the core ideas of the great economists, beginning with Adam Smith and ending with Joseph Schumpeter. In between are chapters on Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, the marginalists, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Thorstein Veblen.

Duncan K. Foley (born June 15, 1942) is an American economist. 2008, Adam’s Fallacy: A Guide to Economic Theology. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. Previously, he was Associate Professor of Economics at MIT and Stanford, and Professor of Economics at Columbia University (Barnard College and Columbia University Graduate Faculty of Arts and Sciences). This book could be called The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Economics. Like Robert Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers, it attempts to explain the core ideas of the great economists, beginning with Adam Smith and ending with Joseph Schumpeter. The title expresses Duncan Foley’s belief that economics at its most abstract and interesting level is a speculative philosophical discourse, not a deductive or inductive science.

This book could be called “The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Economics.” Like Robert Heilbroner’s The Worldly Philosophers, it attempts to explain the core ideas of the great economists, beginning with Adam Smith and ending with Joseph Schumpeter. In between are chapters on Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, Karl Marx, the marginalists, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich Hayek, and Thorstein Veblen. The title expresses Duncan Foley’s belief that economics at its most abstract and interesting level is a speculative philosophical discourse, not a deductive or inductive science. Adam’s fallacy is the attempt to separate the economic sphere of life, in which the pursuit of self-interest is led by the invisible hand of the market to a socially beneficial outcome, from the rest of social life, in which the pursuit of self-interest is morally problematic and has to be weighed against other ends.

Smith and his successors argued that the market and the division of labor that is fostered by it result in tremendous gains in productivity, which lead to a higher standard of living. Yet the market does not address the problem of distribution—that is, how is the gain in wealth to be divided among the classes and members of society? Nor does it address such problems as the long-run well-being of the planet.

Adam’s Fallacy is beautifully written and contains interesting observations and insights on almost every page. It will engage the reader’s thoughts and feelings on the deepest level.


Reviews about Adam's Fallacy: A Guide to Economic Theology (7):
Aedem
"Adam's Fallacy" tells the story of economics through the ideas of the "great" economists -- principally Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes, Schumpeter and Hayek. The author is refreshingly heterodox and devotes the longest chapter of the book to Marx. The writing is succinct and clear, though a few sections (such as the one on marginalism) are too compressed. The focus is on ideas and analysis, not biography or social history.

Inevitably, the book has been compared to Robert Heilbroner's "The Worldly Philosophers." Bottomline: "The Worldly Philosophers" is a FAR better introduction for students coming to economics for the first time. "Adam's Fallacy" can't be appreciated without a fair amount of background knowledge, as much of it is written to defend the relevance of Classical economics to current problems and to criticize neoclassical ways of thinking about economics. A neophyte wouldn't understand what the fuss is about.
Coidor
This is a truly excellent book. As a long time student of the history of economic thought, this book, subtitled "A Guide to Economic Theology" offers a truly insightful perspective on Smith and other classical economists. It has always been my belief that there are a lot of people (some are pompous neo-cons) who quote Adam Smith and have never read him. The author quite effectively dismantles the argument inherent in "Adam's fallacy"; that is by acting in our own (avaricous)self interest, we are acting for the public good; that we must accept injustice in the present to allow for distributive justice over time. Markets for goods, services, and labor do not always produce efficient, let alone just outcomes.

The book should be required reading - not just in Economics Departments, but for elected officials as well. Three cheers for Duncan Foley!!
Aria
I have recently read both Adam's Fallacy and R. Heilbronner's The Worldly Philosophers (as well as other introductions to economic thought). Adam's Fallacy compares favorably with Heilbronner in that it is a little less devoted to biographies of economists and a little more devoted to the content of their theories. Accordingly, it demands a little more effort from the reader. I didn't find it a quick or an easy read. Despite its title, it is a balanced approach to economics, giving Smith credit where due while attempting to provide "a critical and skeptical understanding of political economy." My advice is to read both Heilbronner's and Foley's books -- and not to stop there. The more you read on the topic of economics, the more nuanced your understanding will become.
Zargelynd
The first half of this book is a bit slow & pedantic. The second half is truly worthwhile--insightful, with clear judgement calls on where modern economics stands, which issues have been resolved and which have not.
Laitchai
Foley has taught Economic History for many, many years and has a very nice summary of the thinkers in economics since Malthus. It is very readible and free of ideology - unusual for this topic.

He reviews the efforts economists have made since Smith to avoid the entanglement of the mechanisms of capitalism from the social and political results and judges they have all failed.

Good reading, and answered questions I've been pondering for a long time.
Yalone
This book was just okay. Foley starts with an interesting theory. He calls his theory Adam's Fallacy, and he believes all economists that follow in Adam Smith's footsteps, of believing that the market can be separated from other aspects of life, and that private interest pursuits in the market leads to a better life for all, are fallacious claims. I agree with him on both counts. However, he's also writing a book that he says, in the introduction, is supposed to be an introduction to economics for all his students and friends over the years that have asked him for such a book. He admits that in creating this book he probably failed to do better than Robert Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers. I also agree with Foley on this, Heilbroner's book is more engaging, easier to read, less dry, and details both the thoughts and lives of the thinkers Foley covers. Foley covers only their ideas, and in doing so he doesn't do the best job.

There are two fundamental problems with Foley's presentation. He starts with a theory, but he doesn't actually prove it. He'll spend 45 pages discussing Adam Smith's economics, find one flaw, and connect it to Adam's Fallacy. Fine, maybe part of Smith's theory is fallacious, but the other 43 pages don't fall under that flaw, thus why are they being presented? There's a constant tension in the book between trying to teach the reader economics, and trying to point out some grandiose historical fallacy, that simply doesn't mix. If you're producing an entire treatise of Political Economy, and only a small portion is fallacious, you've succeeded where almost everyone fails. Thus, this is a rather obtuse presentation for calling all these theorist fallacious (unless someone expected them to be infallible; we can reserve that title for Marx). He also claims all economists he covers in the book conduct this flaw, but he fails to demonstrate it for several of them, such as Marx, Schumpeter, and Veblen. Even when he's trying to present the views of some authors in an introductory way, he presents it as if the reader already has an undergrad understanding of certain economic jargon, germane only to the student of economics.

If you want something that proves Adam's famous logic wrong, just read the newspaper. If you want an economics introduction read Wage Labor and Capital, Robert Heilbroner's Wordly Philosophers, or Capitalism for Beginners. I'm now going to read Foley's "Capital," I hope it's better, but I expect it won't be.

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