Just the Facts, Mammon: Aspirations to Moral and Cultural Neutrality

  • Victor V. ClaarEmail author
  • Greg Forster


Shows how economists in the nineteenth century aspired to a morally and culturally neutral social science. Traces the roots of the positive-normative economic dichotomy—through David Ricardo, Nassau Senior, John Stuart Mill, J.E. Cairnes, William Stanley Jevons, and Henry Sidgwick—until John Neville Keynes solved the British “methodenstreit”: a conflict between historicists interested first in institutional arrangements, and an emerging new attraction to economic theorizing in Austria and at Cambridge. Neville Keynes once and for all cemented the positive-normative distinction, thereby ensuring the eventual success of Alfred Marshall’s Principles text. Friedrich List was father to the historicist movement in Germany and Austria, which was a reaction to the more theoretical work being carried out by the founders of the Austrian school.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida Gulf Coast UniversityFort MyersUSA
  2. 2.Trinity International UniversityDeerfieldUSA

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