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《经济思想的成长》

在国外新近问世的经济学史教科书中,摆在读者面前的这部《经济思想的成长》拥有广泛和持久的影响。这部篇幅宏大的著作于是1971年问世,1983年增订再版,1991年出了增订第三版。我们是根据第三版译出的。

该书突出的独到之处,首先在于论述的范围十分广泛,上自《圣经》和古希腊、古罗马的经济思想,下至当代经济学思想的发展中发挥过一定影响的思潮、学派和人物,在这部著作中都有一定的地位,轻重不同地显示了它们的踪迹。另一方面,作者在着重论述各时期各国流经思想的同时,也给当时的各种反对派和非主流派以相当的篇幅,从而为读者提供了西方经济思想发展的一幅长卷的全景图。

其次是全书的论述很好地体现了综合与凝练相结合的原则。全书覆盖面广泛,涉及的时期久远,学派众多、人物成群,思想方法和理论观点纷纭驳杂,历史过程宏大曲折,但全书并不松散,反而体现了明显的统一性和连贯性,保持了应有的理论深度和力度。这主要得益于作者明确地用一根主线将它们贯串起来,加以整合。作者认为这根主线是:不同历史时期的和种学派和学者,如何认识和处理资源稀缺条件下的资源配置和生产发展或财富增长问题。我认为作者的这一见解是很有根据的。另一方面,由于留给每个时期的每个学派或人物的空间有限,如果处理不当,极易顾此失彼、倚轻倚重。作者学识渊埔、融会贯通,在着意于勾勒全局、框架和基于线索同时,对于细节和要点往往点到为止,从而成功地做到了高度概括和重点深入的适当结合。

再次是全书体现的人文主义精神。现在西方有些经济及经济学说史著作,存在着单纯 追求将经济学及经济学说史数学化,尽可能地用数学公式或语言去代替历史了陈述和文字的表达。这样做往往弊大于利。本书作者则强调把经济学同人文科学结合起来,与不同时期的其他思潮联系起来起来,把经济思想学同人文科学结合起来,与不同时期的其他思潮联系起来,把经济思想史放到一定的经济、政治和文化环境中加以考察,必要时不轻易放过某个人物的出身经历、性格等方面的细节。这些无疑都增强了作为一部理论史的深度、可读性和吸引力。

此外,作者还为读者提供了一份内容非常丰富的参考文献,其中论列了有关的各种著作、论文,更可贵的是对它们大都作了注释性的说明,或指出其核心思想,或点出其历史地位和影响,或比较其各种版本的优劣长短和进退得失。这对读者(无论是大学生、研究生、还是研究者和教师)进一步的研究都是十分有益的。鉴于此,我们把这些占了相当篇幅的参考文献也译出供参考。

至于作者的观点,相信读者会作出自己的判断而决定取舍。本来就不能要求或指望作者代我 。

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