author={Harro Maas},
  journal={Journal of the History of Economic Thought},
  pages={500 - 517}
  • H. Maas
  • Published 2009
  • Economics
  • Journal of the History of Economic Thought
In the preface to the second edition of his famous Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, Lionel Robbins briefly responded to a lengthy attack from Professor Souter of Columbia University on his alleged ‘‘positivism’’ (Souter 1933). The response was a polite but determined reference to Max Weber’s well-known distinction between positive and normative judgments: ‘‘So far as this part of his case is concerned Professor Souter must demolish, not me, but Max Weber: and I think… Expand
The nature and significance of Lionel Robbins’ methodological individualism
Abstract Lionel Robbins’ definition of economics helped to buttress the centrality that individual choice acquired after the Second World War. This, however, was an unintended consequence of hisExpand
A New View on Robbins's Definition of Economics: the Notions of Real and Formal Scarcity
Abstract This article analyses Robbins's famous definition of economics. It shows that this definition was introduced by the author to solve long-standing problems regarding the subject-matter of theExpand
Scarce Means with Alternative Uses: Robbins’ Definition of Economics and Its Extension to the Behavioral and Neurobiological Study of Animal Decision Making
  • P. Shizgal
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Front. Neurosci.
  • 2012
An empirically based, functional/computational model of how the subjective intensity of the electrical reward is computed and combined with subjective costs so as to determine the allocation of time to the pursuit of reward is discussed. Expand
Ricardo's discursive demarcations: a Foucauldian study of the formation of the economy as an object of knowledge
Set against previous attempts to grasp the work of British political economist David Ricardo on a theoretical and methodological level, this article explores the emergence of the 'economy' inExpand
Decision-making processes and multilayered institutional order: Lionel Robbins's legacy
Lionel Robbins is mainly known for An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science, where he allegedly illustrated the neoclassical epistemology of economics, based on mechanisticExpand
Economics, Psychology, and the Unity of the Decision Sciences
In recent years, several authors have reconstructed the relationship between 20th-century economic theory and neuro-psychological research in terms of a three-stage narrative of initial unity,Expand
Historical Overview of the Economic Sociology
Abstract There exists a rich and colorful tradition of economic sociology, which roughly began around the turn of the twentieth century and continues till today. This tradition has generated a numberExpand
Economic Life in the Real World
This clearly written and engaging book brings together anthropology, psychology and economics to show how these three human science disciplines address fundamental questions related to the psychologyExpand


An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science.
Lionel Robbins’s An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science (1932) made at least three important contributions: (1) constructing a more modern, focused, and general definition ofExpand
The Origins of Lionel Robbins's Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science
An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science by Lionel Robbins (1932, 1935, 1984) is often credited with bringingAustrian economic theory and methodology into English economics, asExpand
Natural images in economic thought: The moment of Richard Jennings: the production of Jevons's marginalist economic agent
The effect of applying Physiology and Psychology to Politicaleconomy will evidently remove this branch of learning from the condition of a political to the condition of a physical and a metaphysicalExpand
Immanence or Transcendence: Theories of Life and Organization in Britain, 1790-1835
description of intellectual productions but seeks to lodge them in the nexus of events where they originated and with which their meaning is inextricably bound. From this vantage point, many of theExpand
In the Lobby of the Energy Hotel: Jevons's Formulation of the Postclassical "Economic Problem"
In the closing chapter of the first edition of his Theory of Political Economy (TPE), William Stanley Jevons (1871, 254) argued that within the terms of his marginalist theory of value andExpand
“The Nature and Significance of Economic Science” in Recent Discussion
I. Suffocation by analytical definition, 377. — II. Rationality and the Individualist Exchange Economy, 387. — III. Scientific Precision and "the" Stationary State, 391. — IV. Pseudo-Positivism andExpand
New studies in philosophy, politics, economics, and the history of ideas
Following on F. A. Hayek's previous work Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (1967), New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas collects some of Hayek's mostExpand
F. Y. Edgeworth's mathematical psychics and further papers on political economy
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth (1845-1926), scion of a leading Anglo-Irish family, was a classical scholar and mathematician who became the Drummond Professor of Political Economy at Oxford. He was theExpand
William Stanley Jevons and the Making of Modern Economics
The Victorian polymath William Stanley Jevons (1835–82) is generally and rightly venerated as one of the great innovators of economic theory and method in what came to be known as the 'marginalistExpand
Some Reflections on “The Nature and Significance of Economics”
I. Professor Robbins' tendency to "Radical Positivism" — The incompatibility of the means-end schema with the ideal of economics as a "positive" science in this sense, 512. — Criticism of hisExpand