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The Autonomy Of Market Activity And The Emergence Of Keizai Thought

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Chapter Summary

This introduction chapter describes some relevant contours of Tokugawa Japan. The author imagines the activity of keizai thinkers not as a network but as a dynamic and contentious field of positions shaped by the interaction of participants. In this view, the emergence of political economy as a distinct intellectual field reflected the actual increasing autonomy of the object of these thinkers, namely market-economic activity. At the same time, keizai thinkers formulated and asserted claims for the autonomy of market activity as a kind of program. Sometimes their assertions were self-interested claims, sometimes more matters of detached observation.

Keywords: keizai; market-economic activity; Tokugawa Japan



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