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
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: Suggested Citation