Selected Essays by Frank H. Knight, Volume 1

"What is Truth" in Economics?

Frank H. Knight

Selected Essays by Frank H. Knight, Volume 1

Frank H. Knight

Edited by Ross B. Emmett
430 pages | 2 line drawings | 6 x 9 | © 1999
Cloth $87.00 ISBN: 9780226446950 Published March 2000
Frank H. Knight (1885-1972) was a central figure—many say the dominant influence—in the development of the "Chicago School of Economics" at the University of Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s, where he taught future Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, George Stigler, and many other notable scholars. It was Knight's embedded skepticism about the reach of economic knowledge that set the stage for the laissez-faire economics that matured at the University in the 1950s and 1960s. But as important as Knight's technical economic contributions were, he never strayed far from his broad philosophical interests and concern for the state of modern liberal democracy.

Ross B. Emmett's selection of Knight's essays is the first to offer a comprehensive picture of the work of this notable social scientist over the span of his career. Included are not only Knight's most influential writings, but also a number of uncollected papers which have not previously been widely accessible. These essays illustrate Knight's views on the central debates regarding economics, social science, ethics, education, and modern liberalism. Volume 1: "What is Truth" in Economics? contains fifteen of Knight's papers up through 1940. Volume 2: Laissez Faire: Pro and Con includes fourteen of Knight's papers from 1940 through 1967, including "Socialism: The Nature of the Problem" and "The Sickness of Liberal Society."

These twenty-nine essays together stand not only as a monument to one of economics' most significant and original thinkers, but will also serve as an invaluable resource for economists, philosophers, and political scientists interested in the development of the western liberal tradition.

1. The Limitations of Scientific Method in Economics
2. Ethics and the Economic Interpretation
3. The Ethics of Competition
4. Some Fallacies in the Interpretation of Social Cost
5. Fact and Metaphysics in Economic Psychology
6. Historical and Theoretical Issues in the Problem of Modern Capitalism
7. Statics and Dynamics: Some Queries regarding the Mechanical Analogy in Economics
8. The New Economics and the Control of Economic Activity
9. Capitalistic Production, Time, and the Rate of Return
10. Modern Thought: Is It Anti-Intellectualism? and God and Professor Adler and Logic
11. The Ricardian Theory of Production and Distribution
12. The Quantity of Capital and the Rate of Interest
13. Unemployment: And Mr. Keynes's Revolution in Economic Theory
14. "What Is Truth" in Economics?
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