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SOME OF THEIR APPLICATIONS TO SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY.
JOHN STUART MILL.
IN TWO WOLUMES.
W 0L. I.
r’rolls THz FIFT a LONDON EDITION.
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NEW YORK: ..” “..
D. APPLEToN AND com PANY., o
1877. , -
THE appearance of a treatise like the present, on a subject on which so many works of merit already exist, may be thought to require some explanation. It might perhaps be sufficient to say, that no existing treatise on Political Economy contains the latest improvements which have been made in the theory of the subject. Many new ideas, and new applications of ideas, have been elicited by the dis. cussions of the last few years, especially those on Currency, on Foreign Trade, and on the important topics connected more or less intimately with Colonization: and there seems reason that the field of Political Economy should be re-surveyed in its whole extent, if only for the purpose of incorporating the results of these speculations, and bringing them into harmony with the principles previously laid down by the best thinkers on the subject.
To supply, however, these deficiencies in former treatises bearing a similar title, is not the sole, or even the principal object which the Author has in view. The design of the book is different from that of any treatise on Political Economy which has been produced in England since the work of Adam Smith.
The most characteristic quality of that work, and the one in which it most differs from some others which have equalled or even surpassed it as mere expositions of the general principles of the subject, is that it invariably associates the principles with their applications. This of itself implies a much wider range of ideas and of topics, than are included in political economy, considered as a branch of abstract speculation. For practical purposes, political econ. omy is inseparably intertwined with many other branches of social philosophy. Except on matters of mere detail, there are perhaps no practical questions, even among those which approach nearest to the character of purely economical questions, which admit of being decided on economical premises alone. And it is because Adam Smith never loses sight of this truth; because, in his applications of Political
Economy, he perpetually appeals to other and often of society in the relation in which they stand to the best social ideas of the present time, as he did, with such admirable success, in reference to the philosophy of his century.
Such is the idea which the writer of the present work has kept before him. To succeed even partially in realizing it, would be a sufficiently useful achievement, to induce him to incur willingly all the chances of failure. It is requisite, however, to add, that although his object is practical, and, as far as the nature of the subject admits, popular, he has not attempted to purchase either of those advantages by the sacrifice of strict scientific reasoning. Though he desires that his treatise should be more than a mere exposition of the abstract doctrines of Political Econ. omy, he is also desirous that such an exposition should be found in it.
The present fifth edition has been revised through. out, and the facts, on several subjects, brought down to a later date than in the former editions. Addi. tional arguments and illustrations have been inserted where they seemed necessary, but not in general at
any considerable length.