Carlyle, Malthus and Sismondi: The Origins of Carlyle's Dismal View of Political Economy' 1965-1970

History of Economics Review, Vol. 44, pp. 32-38, Summer 2006

Posted: 14 Feb 2007

See all articles by Robert John Dixon

Robert John Dixon

The University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Abstract

While it is correct to say that Carlyle first applied the exact phrase 'dismal science' to political economy in his 1849 article on plantation labour in the West Indies, I argue that Carlyle came to the view that political economy was 'dismal' well before that time. Indeed, his negative attitude can be seen quite clearly in his earlier published reactions to the writings of Malthus (and Sismondi, amongst others) on population growth and its consequences and also to the perceived 'materialistic' nature of the subject matter of political economy.

Keywords: Carlyle, Malthus, Sismondi

JEL Classification: B12

Suggested Citation

Dixon, Robert John, Carlyle, Malthus and Sismondi: The Origins of Carlyle's Dismal View of Political Economy' 1965-1970. History of Economics Review, Vol. 44, pp. 32-38, Summer 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=960375

Robert John Dixon (Contact Author)

The University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, VIC 3010
Australia
61 (0)3 83445352 (Phone)
61 (0)3 83446899 (Fax)

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