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The Young Moses Finley and the Discipline of Economics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the influence of the discipline of economics, narrowly construed, on the intellectual development of Moses Finley. By 'narrowly construed', it concentrates on economists in the classical and neoclassical tradition. More broadly, it is worth exploring what exactly Finley was rejecting when he eschewed 'modern economics'. The author believes that a more precise knowledge of his understanding of certain core modern economic concepts can shed light on some of his disagreements with other classicists, who often did not realize the precision and depth of his economic concepts. The chapter describes what little one knows of Finley's reading and education in economics and also a more general picture of the discipline of economics in the 1930s and 1940s, and then goes on to show where the influence is detectable. 'Economic rationality' was the distinctive mindset of the 'entrepreneur' in full capitalism.

Keywords: capitalism; Economic rationality; entrepreneur; Moses Finley



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