The Economic Thought of Sir James Steuart: First Economist of the Scottish Enlightenment, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Economic Thought of Sir James Steuart

First Economist of the Scottish Enlightenment, 1st Edition

By José Manuel Menudo


280 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138335967
pub: 2019-10-28
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James Steuart published An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Œconomy in 1767, the first systematic treatise on economics, nine years before Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. Traditional historiography has tended to disregard and even deny Steuart’s oeuvre, categorising him as the last, outdated advocate of mercantilist policies in Britain.

A clear portrait of a modernising and enlightened Steuart emerges from this book, opening up an alternative approach to many key developments in economic theory. This book brings together a diverse international team of experts to overturn the ‘advocate of mercantilism’ myth and explore different interpretations of Steuart’s work within the context of the writings of other contemporary authors. A diverse range of specialists – historians, economists, political scientist, and sociologist –reflecting the diversity of James Steuart’s work explore various aspects of the life, works and influence of James Steuart, including his links to other authors who conceive – as Steuart did – the economic system of "natural liberty" as an artificial creation. The portrait of a demarginalised, modernising and enlightened Steuart emerges clearly in this book.

This book is not reduced to old authors whose ideas would be at the Museum of Ideas Dead, it has a very contemporary resonance. The subjects and the way Steuart tackles them could have a big influence to future authors which recognized some advantages of an alternative approach to many key developments in economic theory. This will also be of interest to scholars of history of economic thought, intellectual history and 18th century history

Table of Contents

Introduction Ramón Tortajada

Part I: A Society without Invisible Hands

1. James Steuart on the Public Good Christopher Berry

2. Economic Theorizing as a Factor of Economic Development, with a Reflection on Steuart's Contribution Bertram Schefold

3. James Steuart: Slavery and Commercial Society Simona Pisanelli

4. James Steuart versus Adam Smith Eyüp Özveren

5. Beyond Montesquieu: The Role of Custom in Scottish Institutions and the Formation of Steuart’s Spirit of the People Aida Ramos

6. The Idea of Political Economy in James Steuart and Adam Smith Francis Clavé

Part II: Money and Prices

7. Money Doctor or Co-founder of Monetary Analysis? Jean Cartelier

8. Steuart and Davenant on Financing Wars Furuya Yutaka

9. Writings on Money Full of Instruction: Steuart and Ricardo as Two Squabbling Bedfellows Ghislain Deleplace

10. Steuart, Marx, and the Law of Reflux: A Critique of the Quantity Theory of Money Rebeca Gomez Betancourt and Matari Pierre Manigat

11. Steuart’s Naïve Theory of Money and Credit: The Hayekian Perspective Shigeki Tomo

12. James Steuart and the Classical Theory of Prices Alex Tobon

Part III: Readers of James Steuart

13. Sir James Steuart and the American Mercantilist Tradition Stephen Meardon

14. The First Reception of James Steuart in Italy: Giovanni Tamassia and his liberal economic reading of the «Principles of Political Economy» Cecilia Carnino

15. Steuart, a Late Mercantilist? Mauricio C. Coutinho

16. Hegel, Steuart and Keynes Gilles Campagnolo

17. Steuart in Spain and Spain in Steuart José Manuel Menudo

About the Author

José Manuel Menudo is Professor of Economic Analysis at Pablo de Olavide University, Spain.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the History of Economics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 18th Century