Principles of Economics (8th Edn)
 
Oil on Canvas
9" x 12"
2004
 
Alfred Marshall’s Principles of Economics is the seminal principles text in economics. It ushered in the modern approach to economics at the turn of the twentieth century and taught those who went on to write the mass distributed textbooks of the post war period.
 
Interestingly Marshall’s diagrams are relegated to footnotes (hence the small dimensions). This indicates the role Marshall ascribed to formalism and abstract thinking and their usefulness in analyzing real world phenomenon.
 
And many of the many caveats that Marshall raised about the use of formal methods in the study of evolutionary phenomenon were lost in the twentieth century drive to create an economics that parallels the (supposed) purity and universality of physics.
 
The decay of such principles are clearly in evidence.