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Mark Twain and Economy


The entire Fall issue of American Literary Realism is about Mark Twain’s Economy. An excerpt from the introduction to that volume argues that, “the essays collected in this special issue of ALR encourage us to reassess Mark Twain’s purported economic naivete. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

The Poet, the Skeptic, his Witches, and their Queen: Political Theology and Poetic Charms in Sidney’s Defence

ENGLISH LITERARY HISTORY 81.3 (2014): 733-756

Abstract: This article puts the Defence of Poesy’s critique of poetic prophecy alongside the efforts of contemporary Protestants like Reginald Scot to disenchant the idols and thereby undermine certain aspects of Tudor political theology. The political theology of sovereignty thrived on the belief that witches, charms, and idols were real conduits of spiritual evil. The idea that idolaters represented devils on earth gave support to the notion that sovereigns gained their authority directly from God. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

Libel and Satire: The Problem with Naming

ENGLISH LITERARY HISTORY 81.3 (2014): 889-921

Abstract: Literary historians have accounted for gutted names (like J—- S—- for John Smith) in eighteenth-century satire in legal terms, arguing that such typographical ruses prevented actions and prosecutions for libel. But the legal record shows that gutted names served no legal function. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

Debt Erosion and the Market Process

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS 34.3 (2014): 370-378

Abstract: This paper explores the effects of debt erosion on the market process. Debt erosion is the attempt by government to lower the real value of its debt through the creation of unexpected inflation. In addition to the costs recognised by most economists, debt erosion through unexpected inflation can impair the price system’s ability to coordinate exchange activity and can result in costly capital misallocations. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics

Markets before Economic Growth: the Grain Market of Medieval England

CLIOMETRICA (2014). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI 10.1007/s11698-014-0117-7

Abstract: England from 1200 to 1600 was a society caught in apparent technological stasis, typical of the pre-industrial world. Many believe this pre-industrial stagnation was the result of political and cultural constraints, such as those on the operation of markets. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, History

Realistic Idealism and Classical Liberalism: Evaluating Free Market Fairness

CRITICAL REVIEW (2014). ADVANCED ONLINE PUBLICATION. DOI10.1080/08913811.2014.957022

This paper offers an alternative defense of private economic liberty to the account set forth in John Tomasi’s Free Market Fairness. In Pennington’s endorsement of the ideal of a classical-liberal minimal state the practical/normative implications of his analysis differ very little from that set forth in Tomasi’s book. The character of the reasons given in defense of this ideal however, differ markedly from Tomasi’s favored approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics, Philosophy, Political Theory, Politics

Summaries Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review Books

Freedom’s Right: The Social Foundations of Democratic Life. Axel Honneth. Columbia University Press. 2014.

Theories of justice often fixate on purely normative, abstract principles unrelated to real-world situations. The philosopher and theorist Axel Honneth addresses this disconnect, and constructs a theory of justice derived from the normative claims of Western liberal-democratic societies and anchored in morally legitimate laws and institutionally established practices.

Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life. Derk Pereboom. Oxford University Press. 2104

Derk Pereboom articulates and defends an original conception of moral responsibility. He argues that if determinism were true we would not be morally responsible in the key basic-desert sense at issue in the free will debate, but that we would also lack this kind of moral responsibility if indeterminism were true and the causes of […]

The Copyright Wars: Three Centuries of Trans-Atlantic Battle. Peter Baldwin. Princeton University Press. 2014

Today’s copyright wars can seem unprecedented. Sparked by the digital revolution that has made copyright–and its violation–a part of everyday life, fights over intellectual property have pitted creators, Hollywood, and governments against consumers, pirates, Silicon Valley, and open-access advocates. But while the digital generation can be forgiven for thinking the dispute between, for example, the […]

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Sentimiento Moral y Razón: La Noción de Justicia en Adam Smith y Amartya Sen

AUGUSTO ALEÁN PICO CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA 33.63 (2014): 359-379 Amartya Sen plantea que su noción de justicia tiene como antecedente el pensamiento de Adam Smith. Sen usa de una manera particular los conceptos de la simpatía y del espectador imparcial para elaborar su noción de justicia. Más allá de la afirmación de Sen, estamos interesados […]

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