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The concept of orders of instruments and goods in J. Rae and C. Menger

Drakopoulos, Stavros (1998): The concept of orders of instruments and goods in J. Rae and C. Menger. Published in: The Economics of John Rae by O. Hamouda, C. Lee and D. Mair (eds). No. Routledge, London (1998): pp. 66-72.

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A key feature of the general logic of paradigms or research programs as applied to the history of economic thought, is the acceptance of the fundamental change in the ways of formulating, and analyzing facts and concepts. One can discern an example of the above fundamental change in a critical comparison of a particular aspect of the work of the classical economist J. Rae and of one of the first adherents of the marginalist school, C. Menger. This aspect is the idea of orders. In particular, both economists had as a basis a similar view that objects can be classified in terms of orders. However, they developed a completely different theory which was driven by their respective conceptual framework. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate by using the case of Rae and Menger, how the same idea can lead to completely different approaches depending on the conceptual framework.

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