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The First Serious OptimistA. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics$
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Ian Kumekawa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163482

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163482.001.0001

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Ethics, Politics, and Science

Ethics, Politics, and Science

(p.34) Chapter Two Ethics, Politics, and Science
The First Serious Optimist

Ian Kumekawa

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the development of Pigou's early works, particularly concerning the relationship between ethics and economics. While Pigou was invested with an ethical desire to help the masses, he suffered from an unwillingness to get near them. Moreover, his speech, titled “Economic Science in Relation to Practice” and delivered at his inauguration as Professor of Political Economy, revealed not a tension but a synthesis of scientific, political, and moral elements. In the first decade of the twentieth century, these elements were to publicly weave in and out of one another, leaving Pigou's politics, ethics, and economics not separate intellectual categories, but integrated components of a single mode of thought.

Keywords:   ethics, politics, science, morals, social reform, political involvement, Alfred Marshall, political economy

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