Saturday, February 2, 2008

Things I Did Not Know

Generally, I abhor posts which are comprised wholly of quoting someone else. Many economics blogs are guilty of such. I hope you'll forgive this indulgence. However, I was entirely unaware of this:
Contrary to popular belief, "the dismal science" did not acquire its name because of Thomas Malthus' gloomy predictions. The title was bestowed upon us in 1849 by Thomas Carlyle, who attacked John Stuart Mill and his fellow political economists for their "dismal" support for emancipation, and their insistence that former slaves, women, even the Irish, were all equal.

That's Tim Harford, writing for Slate.

Not very dismal at all.

1 comment:

Stephen Gordon said...

Sandy Peart - who was a grad student at U of T with me - explains the story here:

The Secret History of the Dismal Science