Chapters on Practical Political Economy: Being the Substance of Lectures Delivered in the University of Oxford (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Chapters on Practical Political Economy: Being the Substance of Lectures Delivered in the University of Oxford

His followers have not been contented with the low level on which their great master stood. They have fretted against the walls of the narrow space in which his Political Economy, as they thought, had confined them. They conceived it to be a science to be treated by the scientific method. Their ambition was to make Political Economy take the form of a strict science. Their language took a highly scientific character. Political economists were teachers of a great science. They spoke of economical laws as astronomers speak of the law of gravitation, and chemists of chemical afiinity. The doctrines which they developed were held to soar far above the ideas of the exchange, the factory or the workshop. They framed elaborate treatises, of which they required men to become students. Such were not Adam Smith and his ideas: had they reduced him to a mere beginner?

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