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Principles of Political Economy

350 Pages · 2004 · 905 KB · English

  • Principles of Political Economy

    M


    i John Stuart Mill


    Stephen Nathanson’s clear-sighted abridgment of Principles of l


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    Political Economy,Mill’s first major work in moral and political


    philosophy, provides a challenging, sometimes surprising account


    of Mill’s views on many important topics: socialism, population,


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    the status of women, the cultural bases of economic productivity,


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    the causes and possible cures of poverty, the nature of property


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    rights, taxation, and the legitimate functions of government. n


    Nathanson cuts through the dated and less relevant sections of c


    this large work and includes significant material omitted in other i Principles of


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    editions, making it possible to see the connections between the


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    views Mill expressed in Principles of Political Economyand the e


    ideas he defended in his later works, particularly On Liberty.


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    Indeed, studying Principles of Political Economy,Nathanson Political Economy


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    argues in his general Introduction, can help to resolve the


    apparent contradiction between Mill’s views in On Libertyand f



    those in Utilitarianism,making it a key text for understanding P


    with Some of Their Applications


    Mill’s philosophy as a whole.


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    i to Social Philosophy


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    STEPHEN NATHANSON is Professor of Philosophy, Northeastern c


    University. a Abridged


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    Edited, with Introduction, by


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    E Stephen Nathanson


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    9 780872 207134


    ISBN 0-87220-713-7


    0713 JOHN STUART MILL


    Principles of Political


    Economy


    With Some of Their Applications


    to Social Philosophy


    Abridged JOHN STUART MILL


    Principles of Political


    Economy


    With Some of Their Applications


    to Social Philosophy


    Abridged


    Edited, with Introduction, by


    Stephen Nathanson


    Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.


    Indianapolis/Cambridge Copyright © 2004 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.


    All rights reserved


    10 09 08 07 06 05 04 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


    For further information, please address:


    Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.


    P.O. Box 44937


    Indianapolis, IN 46244-0937


    www.hackettpublishing.com


    Cover design by Listenberger Design & Associates


    Text design and composition by Jennifer Plumley


    Printed at Sheridan Books, Inc.


    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


    John Stuart Mill : principles of political economy with applications


    to social philosophy / edited and abridged by Stephen Nathanson


    p. cm.


    Includes bibliographical references and index.


    ISBN 0-87220-714-5 (cloth) — ISBN 0-87220-713-7 (paper)


    1. Economics. 2. Economics—Philosophy. 3. Social sciences—


    Philosophy. 4. Mill, John Stuart, 1806–1873. I. Title: Principles of


    political economy with applications to social philosophy.


    II. Nathanson, Stephen, 1943–


    HB161.J75 2004


    330.15’3–dc22


    2003056869



    ISBN-13: 978-0-87220-714-1 (cloth)


    ISBN-13: 978-0-87220-713-4 (paper)


    e- e-ISBN: 978-1-60384-037-8 (e-book)






    (cid:1) CONTENTS


    Editor’s Introduction ix


    Further Readings xxxvii


    A Note on the Text xxxvii


    John Stuart Mill


    Principles of Political Economy With Some of


    Their Applications to Social Philosophy


    Abridged Edition


    Prefaces 3


    Preliminary Remarks 6


    Book I Production


    Chapter I. Of the Requisites of Production 19


    Chapter II. Of Labour as an Agent of Production 22


    Chapter III. Of Unproductive Labour 28


    Chapter IV. Of Capital 32


    Chapter VI. Of Circulating and Fixed Capital 34


    Chapter VII. On What Depends the Degree of


    Productiveness of Productive Agents 36


    Chapter VIII. Of Co-operation, or the Combination


    of Labour 46


    Chapter IX. Of Production on a Large, and


    Production on a Small Scale 55


    Chapter X. Of the Law of the Increase of Labour 65


    v vi Contents


    Chapter XI. Of the Law of the Increase of Capital 69


    Chapter XII. Of the Law of the Increase of Production


    from Land 75


    Chapter XIII. Consequences of the Foregoing Laws 79


    Book II: Distribution


    Chapter I: Of Property 85


    Chapter II: The Same Subject Continued 98


    Chapter IV: Of Competition and Custom 112


    Chapter V: Of Slavery 114


    Chapter VI: Of Peasant Proprietors 117


    Chapter VII: Continuation of the Same Subject 119


    Chapter VIII: Of Metayers 122


    Chapter IX: Of Cottiers 125


    Chapter X: Means of Abolishing Cottier Tenancy 129


    Chapter XI: Of Wages 132


    Chapter XII: Of Popular Remedies for Low Wages 141


    Chapter XIII: The Remedies for Low Wages


    Further Considered 146


    Chapter XIV: Of the Differences in Wages in Different


    Employments 154


    Chapter XV: Of Profits 163


    Book III: Exchange


    Chapter I: Of Value 169


    Chapter XVII: On International Trade 172


    Book IV: Influence of the Progress of Society on


    Production and Distribution


    Chapter I: General Characteristics of a Progressive


    State of Wealth 177 Contents vii


    Chapter II: Influence of the Progress of Industry and


    Population on Values and Prices 180


    Chapter IV: Of the Tendency of Profits to a Minimum 183


    Chapter VI: Of the Stationary State 188


    Chapter VII: On the Probable Futurity of the


    Labouring Classes 192


    Book V: On the Influence of Government


    Chapter I: Of the Functions of Government in General 205


    Chapter II: Of the General Principles of Taxation 211


    Chapter III: Of Direct Taxes 223


    Chapter IV: Of Taxes on Commodities 227


    Chapter V: Of Some Other Taxes 231


    Chapter VI: Comparison between Direct and


    Indirect Taxation 235


    Chapter VII: Of a National Debt 242


    Chapter VIII: Of the Ordinary Functions of Government,


    Considered as to Their Economical Effects 247


    Chapter IX: The Same Subject Continued 252


    Chapter X: Of Interferences of Government Grounded


    on Erroneous Theories 260


    Chapter XI: Of the Grounds and Limits of the Laisser-


    Faireor Non-Interference Principle 277


    Index 305 EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION


    In many cases, when classic works are republished, their intellectual


    or literary value is widely recognized. If the work’s reappearance rais-


    es any question, it is a question addressed to readers: “why have you


    not yet read this book?” When a long neglected work is republished,


    however, its history of neglect raises the question: “why read this


    book?” If generations of serious readers have thought it could be safe-


    ly ignored, perhaps there is no reason to attend to it now.


    John Stuart Mill’s Principles of Political Economyfalls into this sec-


    ond category. It is a formerclassic. First published in 1848, it quickly


    became the bible of 19th century English economics. Seven editions


    appeared during Mill’s lifetime, the last in 1871, and Mill both updat-


    ed the book and made some substantial revisions to it. It continued to


    be reprinted after his death and was widely read for a long time.


    nulltheless, Mill’s Principles of Political Economy is not widely


    read today and is generally ignored both by economists and philoso-


    phers. This neglect is understandable. The book is long (about a


    thousand pages), and many parts are either genuinely or apparently


    obsolete. One of Mill’s aims in writing the book was to explain the


    state of economics at the time he wrote. As changes occurred within


    economics, much of what he had to say was superseded by later work.


    The theoretical parts ceased to be of interest to economists, and the


    many applications to current issues of Mill’s time appeared less and


    less relevant as time passed.


    The book has been neglected by philosophers for different reasons,


    having to do both with the book itself and with changing conceptions


    of the role of philosophy. Perhaps the primary reason for philosophi-


    cal neglect is that Principles of Political Economydoes not look like a


    philosophical work. Its title and organization reflect a focus on eco-


    nomic laws and phenomena. The first three of the five books that


    make up the volume are entitled: Production, Distribution, and


    Exchange. There is also a lot of empirical information about forms of


    ix


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