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Defending the History of Economic Thought

Steven Kates, Associate Professor of Economics, School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
This book explains the importance of the history of economic thought in the curriculum of economists, whereas most discussions of this kind are devoted only to explaining why such study is of value simply to the individual economist. Steven Kates reaches out past the individual to explain the crucial importance of the history of economic thought in the study of economics itself; without its history at the core of the curriculum, he contends, economics is a lesser subject, less penetrating, less interesting and of much less social value.
Extent: 160 pp
Hardback Price: $111.00 Web: $99.90
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 978 1 84844 820 9
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Austrian Economics
  • History of Economic Thought
This book explains the importance of the history of economic thought in the curriculum of economists, whereas most discussions of this kind are devoted only to explaining why such study is of value simply to the individual economist. Steven Kates reaches out past the individual to explain the crucial importance of the history of economic thought in the study of economics itself; without its history at the core of the curriculum, he contends, economics is a lesser subject, less penetrating, less interesting and of much less social value.

The author argues that it is the orientation that historians of economic thought give to economics in general that may be one of HET’s greatest virtues, with the mainstream continuously challenged because historians of economics keep bringing other, perhaps wrongly neglected, economic traditions into the conversation. This book clarifies not just why anyone who wishes to understand economic theory must understand the history of economics but also, and much more importantly, why the history of economic thought must be preserved as a core component within the economics curriculum if economic theory is to progress.

This fascinating and thought-provoking book will prove invaluable reading for academics, researchers, lecturers and students across the expansive economics field.
‘. . . As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, Defending The History of Economic Thought is enhanced with a bibliography and a comprehensive index, making it an impressive contribution to professional and academic library Economic Studies collections and supplemental reading lists.’
– The Midwest Book Review

Contents: Preface 1. Preliminary Thoughts 2. Why Study the History of Economic Thought 3. Debating the Role of the History of Economic Thought 4. Teaching the History of Economic Thought 5. Defending the History of Economic Thought Bibliography Index