The Origins of David Hume's Economics
Routledge – 2010 – 228 pages
The book covers Hume’s biographical development; his self appraisal as a 'man of letters’; his philosophical writings with emphasis on their direct and indirect economic content; his self-aware criticism of his approach to the Treatise and the development of his rhetorical understanding of the needs/interests of his readers/potential readers; his rhetorical turn and Ciceronian adjustments to his writing within the genre of the essay, including his two Enquiries; his political essays and his nine essays conventionally classified as economic. The work aims to show how the Treatise and its vicissitudes gave rise to his economics.
The work takes a broad approach to Hume and his writings on economic topics from the Treatise, through the Enquires and on to his political and economic essay. The work also explores Hume’s textual method and charts the move from abstruse philosophy to a Ciceronian engagement with social conditions and problems as developed in the Political Discourses. In addition, Hume’s extensive use of analogies is also brought into clearer focus than is found in other texts. Overall, the book will be of great use to both postgraduates and undergraduates alike.
Forward 1. David Hume: A biographical and critical overview 2. Textual thinking 3. Reading the Treatise through the Abstract. 4. The Treatise: Shaping Social and Economic Life 5. Hume’s Social and Moral Economy 6. Hume’s Essays: from popular to political economy 7. Hume and Economic Knowledge 8. Stadial notions and Hume’s influence
Dr. Willie Henderson already has a number of monographs published by Routledge in the area of the intellectual history of economics, with growing attention recently paid to Enlightenment writers. His works approach the analysis of economic ideas via context and content with emphasis put on the constructed nature of past economics writing. His background is interdisciplinary and he brings a diverse range of techniques and experience to his scholarly writing.