Saturday, September 12, 2009

News of Warren Samuels' Imminent Account of the Invisible Hand

I have mentioned several times that Warren Samuels is publishing his considered analysis of the use to which the “invisible hand” has been put over the centuries, and that I am waiting eagerly to read the finished material which he is about to publish.

In 2007, I attended the History of Economics Society annual meeting at George Mason’s University, Fairfax, Virginia and I listened to Warren presenting his paper as a foretaste of what his researches (since 1983) concluded. The session was well attended. He took questions afterwards and I also spoke to him and his wife momentarily during breaks in other sessions.

Naturally, I was particularly interested in his themes as I presented my own draft paper “Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand” (revised and published by Econ Journal Watch (May 2009) HERE: and see also:

Warren Samuels is an impressive scholar and he is rightly highly regarded by all members of HES.

Yesterday, I posted a comment on the current enquiry about visualising (film clips, videos, and slides) the invisible hand for a lecture to non-economists. The contributions continue, most taking the enquirer’s project seriously.

Of greater import to the broader discussion, Ross Emett has sent to me a reference to a summary of Warren’s 2007 paper HERE:

At the time in June 2007, there was no paper from Warren available and I was unaware that his paper had been released since, and I am indebted to Ross Emett for sending the link to me.

I strongly recommend all readers of Lost Legacy to follow the link and to read Warren Samuel’s draft paper.

As soon as the main manuscript is published, I shall notify readers of where to order a copy. From the draft, I think Warren’s scholarship on the invisible hand is going to become definitive.

He does not support my approach, not does he particularly disagree with it; he puts the debate into its proper context of a much wider debate on the role of philosophical thinking. I shall refrain from commenting further until I read his considered thoughts.

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