ECO 3132 UOO History of Economic Thoughts Questions


Please give me the answer in 24hours. 750words (3pages) In WORD document.ANSWER THREE (3) OF THE FOLLOWING FIVE GROUPS OF ESSAY QUESTIONS:1. Discuss Thomas Kuhn’s original theoretical model of the evolution of scientific knowledge, as well as the model’s possible applicability to understanding the history of economic thought. [4] In your discussion, be sure to provide at least one example from the history of economic ideas either to support or to reject its applicability. [2] Does Kuhn’s approach conflict with either the relativist or absolutist perspectives on the history of economic analysis? In your answer, be sure first to define relativism and absolutism and then explain carefully in what way Kuhn’s approach is either compatible or in conflict with any of these two broad views among economists on the possible general evolution of economic ideas. [4]2. The Plato/Aristotle views on interest and money, as well as the Roman legal tradition on monetary exchange, are the essential building blocks of the system put forth by St. Thomas Aquinas. First describe what were these ancient Graeco-Roman views and then analyze how they were subsequently incorporated within the medieval writings of Aquinas representing the established Scholastic views on money and interest. [6]Writing during the middle of the 14th Century, Nicholas Oresme criticized this Scholastic view of money, which has been sometimes dubbed (in French) the théorie signe [the sign theory]. What was the nature of this criticism? Why was Oresme so opposed to these earlier Scholastic views of money? Elaborate. [4]3. Thomas Mun’s monograph England’s Treasure by Foreign Trade (1664) is generally looked upon as the classic of British “Mercantilism”. The essence of Mun’s ideas rests upon a single proposition. What is this proposition and upon what assumptions does it rest? How did Mun criticize the Bullionist principle that formed the basis of European commercial policy in the 16th and early 17th Centuries. [4] Hume and Cantillon, espousing the classical specie-flow model, found Mun’s proposition to be logically inconsistent and argued that mercantilist policy would be self-defeating in the long run. Explain. [2]4. Crucial to the Physiocratic doctrines, as spelled out in the writings of François Quesnay, is the concept of a produit net or surplus. What was this concept and what role do the twin concepts of avances and reprises play in his definition? How did this definition allow him to classify economic activities according to whether they were productive or unproductive? [6]In your answer, sketch out and offer a detailed explanation of the scheme developed by Quesnay showing how the surplus would be distributed and circulated among the different social classes, commonly described as the Tableau économique. [4]5. Carefully distinguish between Adam Smith’s method of measuring value and his theory of value. [4] What was Adam Smith’s theory of the “natural price” and what role does Smith’s theory of the distribution of income among the various social classes play in the determination of the “natural price”? In your answer, be sure to describe Smith’s theories of the three components of national income. [4]How could the “market price” deviate from its “natural price” in Smith’s analysis and what forces exist to bring the former into line with the latter? Elaborate. Tthere is no specific length constraint applicable to your answer to any one question, the overall length of all your answers combined for the three questions should NOT exceed 750 written words maximum (approximately 3 pages, double-space, with standard font size and page length).

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• (a) Tautology versus Economic Theory
To go from a definition to a scientific theory, one must postulate a
certain structure of causality. The choice of variables constants,
endogenous, exogenous — is often influenced by one’s ideological
• Example: The marginal productivity theory of income distribution.
• (b) Difficulty of distinguishing the “positive” from the “normative”
• Example : Theory of a purely competitive system in Adam Smith,
Léon Walras, Vilfredo Pareto, Frank Knight, etc.
The varying definitions of economics: From Adam Smith’s definition to that of Lionel
Since there is no single definition of the economic method, there exists no unique
framework of analysis to interpret the history of economic thought.
Existence of two broad approaches in the history of economic thought:
Relativism versus Absolutism
“Relativism” attributes to all economic doctrines certain validity, since these diverse
theories are largely a reflection of the historical reality of a period. The development of
economics is thus a mere manifestation, direct or indirect, of the actual transformations
of society in general. Progress in economics therefore follows a non-linear trajectory
with discontinuous jumps.
“Absolutism” conceives of the development of economic analysis as a succession
“minor” or less-developed theories leading to the current“grand” or dominant theory.
Its development therefore follows a more or less sustained linear progression.
Evolution of Knowledge in Economics
Accumulation of
Stock of Economic
Historical Time
Examples of absolutists: Joseph Schumpeter, George Stigler and possibly Mark
Examples of relativists: Eric Roll, William Stark and Wesley C. Mitchell.
Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific
An approach that has become quite popular since the 1960s and
associated primarily with the relativist approach is the theory
proposed by Thomas Kuhn [first published in his 1962 book].
• Kuhn’s Vocabulary:
“Normal science” is dominated by “paradigms”. A paradigm
represents a set of scientific accomplishments which serve as model
for a community of practitioners.
• – An “anomaly” appears when the findings of practitioners are in
conflict with the dominant paradigm. Anomalies accumulate up to a
point where they become “critical”.
– A“scientific revolution” occurs when a rival theory is sufficiently
developed to replace the existing paradigm.
Debate over the Application of
Kuhnian Theory
• Example of Application of Kuhn’s Theory:
A.W. Coats (1969) argued that the most appropriate example of a
Kuhnian scientific revolution is the Keynesian Revolution of the
• Critique by Martin Bronfenbrenner (1971):
Bronfenbrenner reject the conventional “uniformity” of the
absolutists, but he also rejects Kuhn’s “catastrophe” theory to explain
the evolution of economics. He does not believe that the Keynesian
revolution is an appropriate example of a scientific revolution. This is
because, after the Keynesian revolution, there followed a Monetarist
counter-revolution. Such a “backward switch” (or counter-revolution)
does not exist in the natural sciences.

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Explanation & Answer:
750 Words

economic thought

Thomas Kuhn

progression of science

History of Economic

scientific inquiry

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