Oeconomies in the Age of Newton

Oeconomies in the Age of Newton. 2003. Edited by Margaret Schabas and Neil De Marchi. Supplement to volume 35 of HOPE. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

"Introduction," by Margaret Schabas and Neil De Marchi (pp. 1–13). Early modern science and economics shared the same cultural and material setting, with the new scientific findings and methods of the early modern period seeping over into economic discourse and vice versa.

"'Peaches Which the Patriarchs Lacked': Natural History, Natural Resources, and the Natural Economy in France," by E. C. Spary (pp. 14–41). Naturalists and medical botanists at the beginning of the eighteenth century began to insert themselves into networks of global and colonial trade.

"The 'Spirit of System' and the Fortunes of Physiocracy," by Jessica Riskin (pp. 42–73). The model for physiocracy was a certain kind of natural science that may be called "sentimental empiricism."

"The Agricultural Foundation of the Seventeenth-Century English Oeconomy," by S. Todd Lowry (pp. 74–100). An early seventeenth-century revolution in agricultural productivity outpaced the guiding literature on agricultural practices, which changed little from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century.

"Epicurean and Stoic Sources for Boisguilbert's Physiological and Hippocratic Vision of Nature and Economics," by Paul P. Christensen (pp. 101–28). Boisguilbert made a powerful extension of the production current of "preclassical" theorizing that was taken up by the physiocrats and classical economists.

"'The Possibilities of the Land': The Inventory of 'Natural Riches' in the Early Modern German Territories," by Alix Cooper (pp. 129–53). Early modern German thinkers had a new and considerable preoccupation with ideas of "natural wealth."

"Nature as a Marketplace: The Political Economy of Linnaean Botany," by Staffan Müller-Wille (pp. 154–72). Linnaeus's distinction between "elements" and "natural bodies" derived from his involvement in the collection and exchange of plant specimens among botanists.

"Underwriting the Oeconomy: Linnaeus on Nature and Mind," by Lisbet Rausing (pp. 173–203). Linnaeus and his followers regarded nature as a benign and self-regulating superorganism, illustrating the complex and varied way in which Christian theologies addressed nature.

"Medical Metaphors and Monetary Strategies in the Political Economy of Locke and Berkeley," by C. George Caffentzis (pp. 204–33). The medical doctrines and practices of Locke and Berkeley helped determine the monetary strategies proposed by the two thinkers.

"Credit-Money as the Philosopher's Stone: Alchemy and the Coinage Problem in Seventeenth-Century England," by Carl Wennerlind (pp. 234–61). In the English context, alchemy served as conceptual and discursive system that helped frame the debate about the shortage of money and how to overcome it.

"Adam Smith's Debts to Nature," by Margaret Schabas (pp. 262–81). Smith was indebted to the concepts of early modern natural philosophy, believing as he did that economic phenomena were closely wedded to physical and biological nature.

"Evocations of Sympathy: Sympathetic Imagery in Eighteenth-Century Social Theory and Physiology," by Evelyn L. Forget (pp. 282–308). The word "sympathy" was used in highly ambiguous ways in the eighteenth century and was ultimately too tainted by political events and too bound up in metaphorical associations to survive intact.

"Business Ethics, Commercial Mathematics, and the Origins of Mathematical Probability," by Edith Dudley Sylla (pp. 308–37). The conceptual context within which Huygens developed probability mathematics was that of ethical business practice as embodied in commercial mathematics.

"Where Mechanism Ends: Thomas Reid on the Moral and the Animal Oeconomy," by Harro Maas (pp. 338–60). Reid's resistance toward mechanism and materialism determined his approach to moral and mental philosophy.

"Economia civile and pubblica felicità in the Italian Enlightenment," by Luigino Bruni and Pier Luigi Porta (pp. 361–85). Happiness, and public happiness in particular, was the great object of policy for Italian economic thinkers in the latter half of the eighteenth century.