History of Economic Thought (Econ 315)

Emancipation of the Mind

Instructor: Professor Moseley

Offered: Spring 2016

“A study of the history of ideas is a necessary condition for the emancipation of the mind. -John Maynard Keynes

The History of Economic Thought is a fascinating and important course. It provides, first of all, a comprehensive review of the major economists and major economic theories of the past: Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Marshall, and Keynes. In addition, it also provides a new broader historical perspective within which to compare and evaluate modern micro and macro economics.

The course critically examines questions such as:

  • How are these theories of the past different from modern micro and macro? 
  • In what ways are the modern theories superior to the theories of the past? 
  • Are there ways in which modern theories might be inferior to past theories? 
  • How can we use the lessons learned from the theories of the past to improve our understanding of how a capitalist economy works and why it doesn’t always work so well?