Acton Institute Powerblog

The Fallacy of Adam’s Fallacy

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Duncan Foley’s new book, Adam’s Fallacy, is the latest installment among the critics of free-market economics to spin economic history according to the received wisdom of today’s Center-Left intelligentsia. Lest this statement be too harsh, let it be shown that Foley himself reports that his intention in writing the book is not to get bogged down in historical and textual analysis of the key economic texts of the last three-hundred years but to tell his own “imaginatively reconstructed” account of the broad sweep of modern economic history.

If you tend to be a “splitter” as opposed to a “lumper” where historical figures and key texts are concerned, you should heed Foley’s admonition and be warned that Adam’s Fallacy is his “own take on economics and exploits the great figures in the history of political economy shamelessly for [his] own ends.” If your ends don’t happen to match Foley’s ends, then you may find yourself disgruntled like me. But, at the very least, you can take heart that you were warned twice, once by Foley and once by me.

Stephen Grabill