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One of their children, a first cousin to Philip, was the maverick MP and mining engineer Arnold Lupton.

Jane was described as impractical but accomplished sketching, painting, reciting poetry etc. Philip was one of nine children, including Janet, who wrote, as Mrs Lewis, a memoir including her parents; Joseph Hartley , president of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers ; [5] and Charles , also an engineer, who bequeathed to the people of Kettering the park named after his family. Wicksteed was educated at University College, London and Manchester New College , the seminary for nonconformist ministers.

In he received his master's degree with a gold medal in classics. Following his father into the Unitarian ministry that year, Wicksteed embarked on an extraordinarily broad range of scholarly and theological explorations. His theological and ethical writings continued long after he left the pulpit in , and appear to have been a starting point for many of his other fields of scholarly inquiry.

These included his interest in Dante , which not only produced a remarkable list of publications, but also built Wicksteed's reputation as one of the foremost medievalists of his time. Inspired by his reading of Henry George 's book Progress and Poverty , [8] Wicksteed's theologically driven interest in the ethics of modern society, appear to have led him into his economic studies. Perhaps it was just by circumstance that economics entered Wicksteed's field of scholarly vision, as only one of a number of areas of his interest to most of which he was committed for years before he began his economics and in the middle of the fourth decade of his life.

This led Joseph Schumpeter to remark that Wicksteed "stood somewhat outside of the economics profession".

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Philip Wicksteed

Yet, within a few years Wicksteed was to publish significant economic work of his own, carefully expounding on the theory he learned from William Stanley Jevons , and to become for many years a lecturer on economics for the University of London extension lectures a kind of adult education program initiated in the s to extend "the teaching of the universities, to serve up some of the crumbs from the university tables, in a portable and nutritious form, for some of the multitude who had no chance of sitting there".

In , Wicksteed published his celebrated An Essay on the Co-ordination of the Laws of Distribution , in which he sought to prove mathematically that a distributive system which rewarded factory owners according to marginal productivity would exhaust the total product produced.

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But it was his The Common Sense of Political Economy which most comprehensively presents Wicksteed's economic system. He married Emily Solly , [9] a daughter of Henry , a Unitarian minister and social reformer.

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Learn how and when to remove these template messages. This article contains wording that promotes the subject in a subjective manner without imparting real information. Please remove or replace such wording and instead of making proclamations about a subject's importance, use facts and attribution to demonstrate that importance.

For instance, Aristotle , —66 argues that an inquiry into human choice and behavior must begin with what is familiar to us because "facts are the starting-point" of any inquiry. It is very important to begin the analysis from first principles that are well established, because on them depends the whole analysis. As Aristotle has put it, "For the beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole, and many of the questions we ask are cleared up by it" There is no better description for Wicksteed's Common Sense than to say that it is a book where "the beginning is thought to be more than half of the whole.


  • Culture and Consensus in European Varieties of Capitalism;
  • Econlib Editor's Notes.
  • The Fires of Patriotism: Alaskans in the Days of the First World War 1910-1920.
  • The Commonsense of Political Economy.

Wealth, he argued, "is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else" The view of wealth as a tool, so important to Wicksteed's argument on "economic nexus," altruism and "economic relations," is an intrinsic part of Aristotle's view that practical reason without moral excellence is not possible. Choice, the origin of action for Aristotle, "cannot exist either without thought and intellect or without a moral state; for good action and its opposite cannot exist without a combination of intellect and character" Aristotle praises the picture of the "wise man" , the man who is "able to deliberate well about what is good and expedient for himself" and who demonstrates excellence.

Philip Wicksteed - Wikiquote

This man is not concerned with things that he cannot reflect upon, nor is he preoccupied with universals. Rather, the wise man "is concerned with action," with judging the risks and rewards of the particular situation he faces and responding accordingly. As Aristotle argued, "A man has practical wisdom not by knowing only but by acting" The idea behind this principle is that because conduct deals with particular cases, they are considered "truer" than general ones.

For this reason, individuals' final conduct depends on [End Page ] their judgment of particular cases, "for not only must the man of practical wisdom know particular facts, but understanding and judgement are also concerned with things to be done, and these are ultimates" However, the most remarkable similarity between Aristotle and Wicksteed consists in Aristotle's principle of mean, which becomes in Wicksteed's hands the principle of marginal utility.

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This similarity has been noted by Terence Hutchison , 99 , who pointed out Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

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