Gerard Casey: The Major Contributions of the Scholastics to Economics

Following up on our Cobden Centre Radio discussion last week, Professor Gerard Casey’s article on The Scholastics today appeared on Mises.org. Here is the introduction:

Given the standard accounts of the origins of economics, the claim that the Scholastics made a significant contribution to economic theory may seem somewhat surprising, even perverse.

Many histories of economics, especially if they are anglophone, locate the beginnings of economics with Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, together with the works of David Ricardo and the Mills, James and John Stuart. Others, more historically ecumenical and less Britannically insular, might look upon the Mercantilists of an earlier age as protoeconomists; still others would include the Franco-Hibernian Richard Cantillon and the Physiocrats among the originators of economics. While the names of the founders and significant contributors of economics may differ from list to list, the suggestion that there is anything of value to economic theory to be found in the speculations of Scholastic philosophers is likely to invite skepticism.

The full article appears here.