Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies

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An intimate view of the dominant economists of this century, scholars whose work changed the direction of the discipline, is presented in this volume. The contributors who come from quite divergent points of the ideological compass present their life philosophies and reflect on their conceptions of human nature, society, justice and the source of the creative impulse. The self-portraits reveal details of the economists' personal and professional lives that capture the significance of the total person. Moreover, they illuminate the product of their labor, and as such, they change one's notions of what an economist can do or be. An introduction by Michael Szenberg, editor-in-chief of The American Economist, makes career and philosophic pattern comparisons.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of essays by 22 prominent economists is distinctive. These autobiographical essays are open-ended, with each economist invited to discuss his ``life philosophy.'' Surprisingly, such wide-ranging articles do develop several common themes, and all dispel the notion of economists as theoreticians divorced from the workings of the real world. The economists exhibit impressive intellectual depth and breadth of knowledge. Highly recommended for all college and university libraries, especially those institutions with large and/or vigorous economics programs.-- Richard C. Schiming, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
From the Publisher
"This book provides a rare opportunity to sit down with an Arrow, a Samuelson, or a Tinbergen and learn that there is more to economics (and economists) than the world of theorems and econometric models. Michael Szenberg is to be congratulated for making us privy to the life philosophies of twenty-two of the world's most eminent economists. This is recommended reading for economists of all ages; it should be required reading for those at early stages of their careers." Victor R. Fuchs, Stanford University

"Gems from this treasure chest include brief surveys of authors' major contributions; pleas for work which authors consider unjustly neglected by the profession; brief essays on methodology and on personal objectives; and autobiographical sketches including accounts of military service in World War I, high school in occupied France during World War II, and escape from Communist Romania. Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies should fascinate anyone interested in economics, autobiography or the creative process." Harry M. Markowitz, Baruch College, City University of New York

"Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies, edited by Michael Szenberg, contains revealing autobiographical essays by 22 excellent economists of the older generation, including representatives of the right like Karl Brunner and James Buchanan." David Warsh, The Boston Globe

"Michael Szenberg, is editor in chief of The American Economist, has edited a collection of essays that should stand as a permanent addition to economic literature. A very useful, thoughtful and sincere Introduction by the editor compares some of the thoughts and attitudes expressed concerning vision and technique. We have always stood on the shoulders of our intellectual forebears. Now we can do it more knowingly, confidently, and even, affectionately." The American Journal of Economics and Sociology

"This collection of essays by 22 prominent economists is distinctive....The economists exhibit impressive intellectual depth and breadth of knowledge." Library Journal

"Imagine sitting down on a one-to-one basis with each of twenty-two of the world's most eminent economists--including nine Nobel laureates--and listening as each one tells you his life philosophy. This collection of essays, masterfully edited by Michael Szenberg, along with an introduction, provides the closest alternative. What a colorful array of economists!...This book should serve as a source of study for economists who can pick up many ideas on research and methodology from today's economic masters. It should be required reading for all starting (and also many established) academicians who would obtain tips on teaching and other academic behavior. But because it is a compendium of essays by 'masters,' it contains a wealth of information that extends beyond economics....this book is also enjoyable reading....Professor Szenberg should be congratulated for this volume; it is priceless." Samuel Schwarz, Eastern Economic Journal

"...a treasure trove of 22 immensely enjoyable autobiographical essays....virtually all write in a lively, lucid, and reflective style free of technical jargoneering. Some of the essays are primarily fascinating life histories; and some are outright amusing. Few are pontifical. Almost every essay offers memorable anecdotes. In its own way, almost every essay is wise, absorbing, and entertaining." James W. Brock, Journal of Economic Issues

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521449878
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 324
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; The passion for research Mauric Allais; 'I Know a Hawk from a Handsaw' Kenneth J. Arrow; On my attitudes: sociopolitical and methodological William J. Baumol; Recollections and reflections of a comparativist Abram Bergson; From chemistry to economics and beyond Kenneth E. Boulding; My quest for economic knowledge Karl Brunner; From the inside looking out James M. Buchanan; Random walk and life philosophy Gerard Debreu; How I tried to become an economist Evsey D. Domar; Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen about himself Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen; Autobiographical notes with reflections Frank Hahn; My working philosophy Charles P. Kindleberger; My professional life philosophy L. R. Klein; Social science, ethics, and the role of the public sector Richard A. Musgrave; My apprenticeship as an economist Austin Robinson; Reflections on political economy: past, present, and future W. W. Rostow; My life philosophy: policy credos and working ways Paul A. Samuelson; My search for welfare Tibor Scitovsky; Living in interdisciplinary space Herbert A. Simon; Notes on copying Robert M. Solow; Solving the most urgent problems first Jan Tinbergen; Scientific humanism as an ideal Shigeto Tsuru; Index.
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