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Title: On the split between the ‘science’ and the ‘art’ of political economy: nineteenth century controversies
Authors: Carvalho, L. F.
Keywords: History of economic thought
Economic methodology
Friedrich List’s
John Ruskin’s
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Dinamia
Series/Report no.: Working Papers
Abstract: In the first half of the nineteenth century, Nassau Senior and John Stuart Mill advanced two influential methodological accounts of ‘classical’ political economy, arguing for a distinction between the ‘science’ and the ‘art’ of political economy, and thus heralding the positive/normative divide that would become pervasive in economics. At the time, these views aroused controversy. In this paper two critical perspectives are examined: Friedrich List’s and John Ruskin’s. List tried to build his approach to political economy upon a ‘middle ground’ between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’, openly integrating the political element in economic discourse. Ruskin strongly objected to the possibility and the significance of the art/science split, since he maintained that political economy must be explicitly prescriptive and grounded on articulated value choices. By recalling the terms of nineteenth-century controversies, this paper seeks to draw some implications for contemporary debates.
Peer reviewed: Sim
Appears in Collections:DINÂMIA'CET-WP - Working papers com arbitragem científica

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