The Principles of Political Economy

Henry Sidgwick

Preface 1

Preface to the First Edition

The character,and scope of this treatise I have endeavoured to explain fully in the introductory chapter; it remains for me here to acknowledge my debts to the works that have chiefly aided me in composing it. After J. S. Mill's book, from which I first learned political economy, and on which the present work must be understood to be primarily founded, I believe that I owe most to Jevons' Theory of Political Economy, the leading ideas of which have been continually in my thoughts. I am also considerably endebted both to Cairnes' Leading Principles of Political Economy and to the Economics of Industry, by Mr and Mrs Alfred Marshall, together with some papers by Mr Marshall on the theory of Value diagrammatically treated, which have been privately printed. {Note}. I have also derived valuable suggestions from Mr Hearn's Plutology, and from Mr F. A. Walker's Wages; also from Mr Macleod, as regards the theory of Money, and to some extent in treating of Wealth and Capital---though I do not agree with most of Mr Macleod's views. I must also express my obligations to the writer of an article on ``Industrial Monopolies'' in the Quarterly Review of October 1871.

Among foreign writers, I have derived most assistance from the works of Professor A. Wagner and the late Professor A. Held; especially from the former's elaborate systematic treatise on the subject. I am also indebted to Cournot's Principes Mathématiques de la Théorie des Richesses, and to Schäffle's Quintessenz des Socialismus and Bau und Leben des Socialen Körpers.

Finally, I must acknowledge gratefully the aid that many friends have kindly given me, by supplying information or suggesting corrections required for various portions of the work while it was in progress; among whom I must particularly mention Mr F. W. Maitland, of Lincoln's Inn, and Mr J. N. Keynes, of Pembroke College, Cambridge. To the latter I am especially indebted for his kindness in reading and criticising the proofsheets of the greater part of the book: which has enabled me to improve it in many respects.

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