Language and Economics

Neale, Walter C.
June 1982
Journal of Economic Issues (Association for Evolutionary Economi;Jun82, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p355
Academic Journal
The article presents information on language and economics. The author's basic argument derives from the histories of political philosophy and economic thought and from ideas garnered from linguistics. The basic proposition is that the deep difference-the chasm-between people whose cast of mind or intellectual position leads them to call themselves institutionalists and those people whom the author shall call standard economists, is fundamentally philosophical rather than ideological or methodological. One difference is that the standard side tends to follow in the tradition of the philosophers of natural law. While that school certainly dates back twenty-four centuries, the author shall not push back before economist John Locke. The author thinks it is clear that there has been a consistent strain of natural law philosophy running from Locke on through economist Adam Smith and the classical economists (including Karl Marx), the neoclassical economists, the Keynesians and the monetarists. Although not all of them subscribe to a view that there is a universal, natural social order, few, I think, take a position which must necessarily be inconsistent with the philosophy of natural law.


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