Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Fair Question: how many economists and biologists have read Darwin and Smith's Works

Paul Walker, a regular reader of Lost Legacy in Christchurch New Zealand Blogs at: Anti-Dismal ('A blog on all things to do with economics and related subjects') HERE:

“Shocked but not surprised

Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution writes in a posting Blogging *The Origin of Species*,

“That is a worthwhile endeavor and you will find the blog here. Nonetheless I was shocked (but not surprised) to read the following:

“Evolutionary biologist John Whitfield is reading Origin for the first time and writing about it, chapter by chapter.

I would ask Tyler, if he is shocked but not surprised to learn that a biologist hasn't read Darwin, then how shocked, but not surprised, would he be to discover that few economists have read Adam Smith?”

I hope many more economists will read both Moral Sentiments (1759) and Wealth Of Nations (1776) in this 250th commemorative year for the publication of Moral Sentiments.

It is also the 250th commemorative year for the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species, a book well worth reading.

I read it in 2000 while preparing my ‘Pre-History of Bargaining’ ms (you can read my paper, “The Pre-history of Bargaining: an inter-disciplinary treatment, part I”, by clicking on the link (in red) on the Lost Legacy Home Page).

I plan to re-read Darwin’s Origin of Species this summer, and his other books developing this theme as applied to Natural Selection and Sex, and his book on facial gestures among humans and other animals.

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Blogger Gavin Kennedy said...


Thank you for your comments.

I received a facsimile first edition of Darwin's Origin of Species and I read it right through a couple of month's ago.

It really is a great book, marshaling his research findings from many years or earlier detailed work.


1:36 pm  

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