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A Treatise on Political Economy by Antoine…
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A Treatise on Political Economy

by Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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191537,190 (4)None

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This early entry into the French Harmony School literature of economic theory is of more than historical interest, though there is history, here, aplenty:

Thomas Jefferson edited the translated manuscript;

This was one of the most important economic texts in the early history of the U.S.;

The author was the man who coined the term "ideology" (afterwards Napoleon and Marx both abused it);

The text is a fine example of early free market theory.

But, more interesting to me is that this book also makes the case for treating the discipline of "political economy" as what the Archibishop Whately later called "catallactics," AND as a theory of human action, what Ludwig von Mises later called "praxeology." The original title of the work is (translated into English) "The Will and Its Effects" -- quite clearly a praxeological approach.

Destutt de Tracy tried to link his praxeology and his nascent catallactics to a Lockean theory of ideas. Not wholly successful, but very interesting.

The book is very easy to read, and though it contains a boatload of errors and theoretical mistakes, I'd rather get on and get off this boat than many another a vessel. That is, I learned a lot from reading it. ( )
  wirkman | Feb 21, 2007 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jefferson, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jennings, JeremyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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