Margaret Schabas

Margaret Schabas
University of British Columbia - Vancouver | UBC · Department of Philosophy

PhD

About

75
Publications
2,813
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661
Citations
Citations since 2017
15 Research Items
264 Citations
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (75)
Article
In his Political Discourses, Hume's account of the gains from trade rested on a two-factor theory of prices, with an emphasis on long-run adjustments governed by factor mobility and price convergence. Hume's vision of global capitalism rested on the belief that financial instruments were increasingly untethered to nation states and that higher wage...
Book
Full-text available
This book situated David Hume's economics within the broader context of his philosophical writings. It argues that economics was a unifying thread to his life and work, and that he left his mark on the leading economists to this day. The book also grapples with Hume's insights into the rise of capitalism, both its capacity to foster peace and prosp...
Chapter
Hume argued, expanding on Montesquieu’s principle of doux commerce, that trade and commerce promote peace and civility. Focusing first and foremost on the burgeoning middle class, Hume argued that the habits and customs of commercial life held the key to a more polite society and enlightened world. It was not wealth per se that served as a catalyst...
Chapter
Since antiquity, philosophers have argued that the unfettered pursuit of commercial wealth was unethical. Hume, drawing on the work of Bernard Mandeville, disagreed. Hume argued that modern commercial societies were more conducive to moral improvement than previous historical epochs. The desire for conveniences and luxuries inspired the formation o...
Chapter
While first and foremost a philosopher, Hume’s education and experiences shaped him into an expert on economics. From a young age, Hume read economic discourse; his Early Memoranda (circa 1740) registers over two hundred distinct economic observations, drawn from around the globe. He absorbed the novel features of commercial life during his travels...
Chapter
Hume left a significant imprint on the science of economics. In his lifetime, Hume oversaw eleven editions of the Political Discourses (1752) and, together with a dozen translations on the Continent, became one of the most celebrated economists. Adam Smith, his close friend for twenty-five years, was deeply indebted to Hume’s philosophy and economi...
Chapter
The gains from trade, Hume argued, are universal, without limit, and intrinsic to the dynamics of globalization. Nations ought to specialize and export the goods for which they are most advantaged, and trade barriers ought to be dismantled. Because wages are relatively high in commercially-advanced nations, manufacturers would gradually shift their...
Chapter
Hume promoted the scientific standing of economics as part of his broader inquiry into human nature. He argued that there is sufficient uniformity to human agency, the reasonable pursuit of gain, to generate distinct economic patterns, for example, the law of supply and demand or the convergence of the interest and profit rates. Hume devised his ep...
Chapter
As a leading contributor to monetary theory, Hume articulated the essential properties of money as a medium of exchange and locus of trust. Money arose from uncoordinated exchanges, but once established, Hume believed, operated according to its own intrinsic laws. He employed the quantity theory of money and the specie-flow mechanism to motivate th...
Article
David Hume wrote prolifically and influentially on economics and was an enthusiast for the modern commercial era of manufacturing and global trade. As a vocal critic of the Church, and possibly a nonbeliever, Hume positioned commerce at the vanguard of secularism. I here argue that Hume broached ideas that gesture toward those offered by Max Weber...
Article
Political economy emerged as a discourse in early modern Europe and reached full maturity in the first half of the nineteenth century. It is the progenitor to modern economics, but there are several distinctive characteristics that set it apart. Political economy was a literary rather than a mathematical science; it openly acknowledged its place wi...
Article
Mandeville and Hume advance similar framings for their political economy, using emergentist and proto-sociological lines of analysis. They are less aligned with liberalism (political, economic, or metaphysical) than mercantilism, insofar as they favor balance-of-trade arguments and urbanization. They are both methodological holists, not individuali...
Article
Full-text available
David Hume (1711-1776) is arguably the most esteemed philosopher to have written in the English language. During his lifetime, however, Hume was as well if not better known for his contributions to political economy, particularly for the essays published as the Political Discourses (1752). Hume left his mark on the economic thought of the physiocra...
Article
Material Markets: How Economic Agents are Constructed, MacKenzieDonald. Oxford University Press, 2009. ix + 228 pages. - Volume 26 Issue 3 - Margaret Schabas
Article
Full-text available
Hume's Political Discourses (1752) won immediate acclaim and positioned him as an authoritative figure on the subject of political economy. This volume of thirteen new essays definitively establishes the central place of political economy in Hume's intellectual endeavor, as well as the profound and far-reaching influence of his theories on Enlighte...
Article
MosselmansBert, William Stanley Jevons and the Cutting Edge of Economics (London and New York: Routledge, 2007), pp. xv, 143, $40. ISBN 0-415-28578-X - Volume 31 Issue 2 - Margaret Schabas
Article
Economists study “The Economy,” or so one might suppose. Yet this overarching entity is strikingly absent from mainstream theory. Since the 1950s, it has generally been described with a few mathematical propositions and not given a description that attends to institutions, power relations, or the emergent properties that form the leading indicators...
Article
Full-text available
Contemporary economists deem virtually every piece of reasoning and argumentation in economics a model, forgetting that there may well be other conceptual tools at hand. This article demonstrates that David Hume used thought experiments to make some remarkable breakthroughs in monetary economics, and that this resolves a longstanding debate about a...
Article
Although Adam Smith's 1776 Wealth of Nations is often cited as marking the birth of economics, it was really not until after the second world war that economics became the distinctive, more or less unified, and largely separate discipline summarised in the textbooks of today. Even a mere fifty years ago, it was possible for the intelligent reader t...
Article
References to the economy are ubiquitous in modern life, and virtually every facet of human activity has capitulated to market mechanisms. In the early modern period, however, there was no common perception of the economy, and discourses on money, trade, and commerce treated economic phenomena as properties of physical nature. Only in the early nin...
Article
Adam Smith's Marketplace of Life, by James R. Otteson. Cambridge University Press, 2002, 352 pages - Volume 21 Issue 1 - Margaret Schabas
Article
While the history of early modern science is well-charted terrain, far less has been recorded on economic thinking of the same period and consid- erably less that addresses the intersection of these two fields. Our volume is a modest stab at mapping this new land, and we can only hope that it will inspire more efforts to explore this rich set of to...
Article
History of Political Economy Annual Supplement to Volume 35 (2003) 262-281 Adam Smith (1723–90) was the towering figure of Enlightenment political economy, a stature he attained in his own lifetime much as Sir Isaac Newton had in his. The secondary literature on Smith is enough to sink a small boat; there are more than 1,000 books and journal artic...
Article
History of Political Economy 35.3 (2003) 602-603 This is a very fine volume of papers, the by-product of one of the annual European Conferences on the History of Economics, held in Antwerp in 1998. It is unlikely that individual scholars will purchase this book because of the price, but certainly the articles will be of considerable service to the...
Chapter
INTRODUCTION: Although discourses on the subject of wealth and money reach back to antiquity, extensive theorising about economic phenomena only emerged in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) launched the classical theory of political economy which was developed in the nineteenth century, most notably by...
Article
History of Political Economy Annual Supplement to Volume 34 (2002) 208-225 —Kenneth Boulding, “After Samuelson, Who Needs Adam Smith?” (1971) If one revisits the early years of History of Political Economy, one cannot help but be struck with the impression that the field was already very much on the retreat. Kenneth Boulding (1971, 232–33) deplores...
Article
History of Political Economy 33.3 (2001) 411-435 'Tis evident, that all the sciences have a relation, greater or less, to human nature; and that however wide any of them may seem to run from it, they still return back by one passage or another. Even Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Natural Religion, are in some measure dependent on the science...
Article
Adam Smith and the Virtues of Enlightenment, Charles L. Griswold, Jr. Cambridge University Press, 1999, xiv + 412 pages. - - Volume 16 Issue 2 - Margaret Schabas
Article
History of Political Economy 31.3 (1999) 604-605 This is the first book to cover W. S. Jevons's work in applied economics and policy investigations and to link it to his work on theory and methodology. It reads very well and is based on extensive research. Sandra Peart paints Jevons in a very positive light, praising him for his many contributions...
Article
It is a case of the error too common in political economy, of not distinguishing between necessities arising from the nature of things, and those created by social arrangements: an error, which appears to me to be at all times producing two opposite mischiefs; on the one hand, causing political economists to class the merely temporary truths of the...
Article
John Hicks’s recognition of a “changing world,” as described in the above quote, is a commonplace disclaimer among economists, particularly when confronted with the relative triumphs of natural scientists. But in what sense does the world change when it comes to economic inquiry? Neoclassical economists, having ascertained the current equilibrium s...
Chapter
Since the Enlightenment, economists have traditionally looked to Newtonian physics as the science to emulate. But although the clas­sical economists were clearly aware that their discipline did not match the predictive and explanatory successes of the physical sciences, they did not take specific steps to adopt tools, such as mathematics, that migh...
Article
MalthusThomas Robert. An Essay on the Principle of Population, edited by JamesPatricia, 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press for the Royal Economic Society, 1990. Pp. xvi + 446; vi + 397. ISBN 0-521-32361-4. L.75, $120.00. MalthusThomas Robert. Principles of Political Economy, variorum edition, edited by PullenJohn, 2 vols. Cambridge: Camb...
Article
Economists are still very much in the grip of both operationalism and a reverence for classical mechanics as the science to emulate. Those who have exposed the weaknesses of this approach tend also to dismiss neo-classical economics as devoid of empirical and/or ideological-free content, a move which seems to have been counter-productive. This pape...
Article
Full-text available
Although Adam Smith’s 1776 Wealth of Nations is often cited as marking the birth of economics, it was really not until after the second world war that economics became the distinctive, more or less unified, and largely separate discipline summarised in the textbooks of today. Even a mere fifty years ago, it was possible for the intelligent reader to...
Article
David Hume comes at the end of a long and venerable tradition of monetary analysis harking back to Aristotle (see Vickers 1959). It is not too much of a distortion of the historical record to maintain that after Hume's essays on the subject, money faded into the background of economic theory until the writings of Knud Wicksell, Irving Fisher and Jo...
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Toronto, 1983. Includes bibliographical references.
Article
Full-text available
Although Adam Smith's 1776 Wealth of Nations is often cited as marking the birth of economics, it was really not until after the second world war that economics became the distinctive, more or less unified, and largely separate discipline summarised in the textbooks of today. Even a mere fifty years ago, it was possible for the intelligent reader to...

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