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Title: The place of reforming Cambridge in Alfred Marshall's construction of an economic organon, 1861-1890
Author: Cook, S.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2001
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Within the last ten years a large amount of material written by Alfred Marshall has been newly published. This material includes Marshall's earliest academic manuscripts (dealing with philosophical subjects), his early lectures to women students, and all of his correspondence. In terms of Marshall's early years studying political economy, this new material may be seen to complement the early economic writings of Marshall, which had already been published (edited by Pigou in 1925, and then Whitaker in 1975), and to offer scholars the opportunity of considerably expanding and indeed perhaps even revising their image of Marshall's formative years as an academic economist. This doctoral thesis utilizes all of the newly published work, as well as previously published material and archival sources. It is intended as a contribution to the revised picture of Marshall's early life and work, which in the opinion of this author, must emerge before too long. This main argument of this thesis is that previous histories of the generational 'revolution of the Cambridge dons' need to be revised, in that there existed a previously passed over generation between William Whewell and Adam Sedgwick on the one hand, and Henry Sidgwick on the other. Reading the works of this hitherto overlooked generation shows how far they in fact bridged the gap between the conservative reformers of the 1850s and the radical reformers of the 1870s. Two key representatives of this 'missing generation' are Grote and Maxwell, and it is argued that Marshall's thought must be seen as closely connected to both these men. This thesis further argues that Marshall's philosophical outlook did not depart far from that which he imbibed from reading Grote's work in the late 1860s, and it tries to show how Marshall's early equilibrium theory of value adopted the techniques recently developed by Maxwell in his statistical models of gas behaviour. In terms of Marshall's early theory of value it is also argued that Marshall's early demand curve was derived by a process of integrating a 'bell-shaped' error curve.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available