Scarcity_ A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis by Fredrik Albritton Jonsson and Carl Wennerlind

Scarcity: A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis by Fredrik Albritton Jonsson and Carl Wennerlind

Scarcity : A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis by Fredrik Albritton Jonsson and Carl Wennerlind

Abstract

Ever since Lionel Robbins (1932: 15) defined eco nom ics as the sci ence “which studies human behav iour as a rela tion ship between ends and scarce means which have alter na tive uses,” the con cept of scar city has become crit i cal within the dis ci pline. Actually we can go back even fur ther in his tory, as it has been around since the origins of mod ern polit i cal econ omy—Adam Smith uses it exten sively in his Wealth of Nations (1776). In their new book, the his to ri ans Fredrik Albritton Jonsson and Carl Wennerlind trace the his tory of the con cept of scar city in Western eco nomic, polit i cal, philosophical, and even literary thought, particularly in the context of the economy- nature rela tion ship, since the six teenth cen tury. Both are rec og nized intel lec tual histo ri ans, the for mer hav ing been acclaimed for his Enlightenment’s Frontier (Albritton Jonsson 2013) on the ori gins of envi ron men tal ism, the sec ond hav ing recently received praise for his joint book with Margaret Schabas on David Hume, A Philosopher’s Economist (Schabas and Wennerlind 2020).

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