Publications and Controversies 1929–1939

  • Lord Robbins


My routine duties, both at New College and at the School, in the inter-war years related chiefly to economic theory in various aspects. A great deal of my intellectual effort therefore was devoted to attempts to achieve a consistent view of the subject, as it had evolved and was evolving, in order to present it in systematic lectures and ultimately, perhaps, in a work on general principles. For reasons which I shall explain later on, this latter ambition has not yet been realized and now probably never will be. But in all my teaching and writing in this part of the field, this search for a coherent apparatus of analytical thought has been the underlying motive. Let me be quite clear about this. I did not aspire to produce ab initio a system of my own in the manner of the continental dinosaurs of that period: I had much too much respect for the body of analysis which I and my contemporaries had inherited from the past to entertain any such intention. But to criticize particular propositions thereof for their logic or the appropriateness of their assumptions, to add to the inheritance oneself, to show how the various contributions being made at the frontiers of knowledge enlarged the tradition or modified it: that, rather than the self-centred search for a discontinuous, comprehensive originality, seemed to me then, as it still does now, the appropriate inspiration for economic theorists of the twentieth century.


Economic Planning Material Welfare International Order Marxian Theory Monetary Equilibrium 
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© Lord Robbins 1971

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  • Lord Robbins

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