John Maynard Keynes Criticism - Essay

Allan G. Gruchy (essay date 1949)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "J. M. Keynes' Concept of Economic Science," in The Southern Economic Journal, Vol. XV, No. 3, January, 1949, pp. 249-66.

[In the following excerpt, Gruchy examines Keynes's economic thought at its various levels of analysis—from his theory of output and employment, to his theory of the capitalist order, to his set of proposals for remedying the capitalist system as it was then operating in Englandillustrating how his views on the nature of economic science adhered to and diverged from the orthodox position of the Cambridge school.]


Recent attempts to reduce Keynes' economics to the general textbook level raise the very...

(The entire section is 8129 words.)

Arthur Smithies (essay date 1951)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Reflections on the Work and Influence of John Maynard Keynes," in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. LXV, No. 4, November, 1951, pp. 578-601.

[In the following excerpt, Smithies surveys Keynes's career, commenting on the relationship between his economic theories and his philosophical beliefs, his views on domestic and international economic policy, his method of argument, the success of his policy proposals, and the political consequences of his theories.]


The publication of Mr. Harrod's biography of Keynes will enable many of us who were not his intimates to reflect on his personality and achievement in a way that was not...

(The entire section is 9554 words.)

Paul Lambert (essay date 1963)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Social Philosophy of John Maynard Keynes," in Annals of Collective Economy, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, October-December, 1963, pp. 1-33.

[In the following excerpt, which is a translation of chapter five from his study L'oeuvre de John Maynard Keynes, Lambert provides a chronological study of Keynes's writings, portraying the economist as the founder of a "new liberalism" that sought to reconcile the individualistic spirit of capitalism with the need for government intervention to ensure full employment.]


As my book [L 'oeuvre de John Maynard...

(The entire section is 10999 words.)

Izumi Hishiyama (essay date 1969)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Logic of Uncertainty According to J. M. Keynes," in The Kyoto University Economic Review, Vol. XXXIX, No. 1, April, 1969, pp. 22-44.

[In the following excerpt, Hishiyama maintains that A Treatise on Probability had a direct bearing on the General Theory, particularly with regard to the two essential components of Keynes's principle of aggregate demand, investment and consumption, both of which, according to Keynes, contain an element of uncertainty that is not mathematically calculable.]


I think that one chapter has been left untouched in the studies about J. M. Keynes which have been made so far. It is none other...

(The entire section is 9581 words.)

John Kenneth Galbraith (essay date 1971)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "How Keynes Came to America," in Essays on John Maynard Keynes, edited by Milo Keynes, Cambridge University Press, 1975, pp. 132-41.

[In the following essay, which was first published in 1971, Galbraith explains how the ideas contained in the General Theory were disseminated and eventually adopted in the United States.]

'I believe myself to be writing a book on economic theory which will largely revolutionize—not, I suppose, at once but in the course of the next ten years—the way the world thinks about economic problems.'

—Letter from J. M. Keynes to George
Bernard Shaw, New Year's Day 1935....

(The entire section is 4230 words.)

Harry G. Johnson (essay date 1972)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Early Economics of Keynes," in The American Economic Review, Vol. LXII, No. 2, May, 1972, pp. 416-21.

[In the following essay, Johnson examines the relationship between Keynes's plans for the International Monetary Fund system, established after World War II, and his early economic work specifically, his thoughts on the Indian currency problem and his views on international monetary relationships directly after World War I.]

The Royal Economic Society has this year published the first eight of a projected twenty-four-volume series of The Collected Writings of John Maynard Keynes. Six of them are already in print or in library; the other two, edited...

(The entire section is 3087 words.)

Elizabeth Johnson (essay date 1972)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "John Maynard Keynes: Scientist or Politician?" in Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 82, No. 1, January-February, 1974, pp. 99-111.

[In the following excerpt, Johnson discusses the nature of Keynes's involvement in British political life and economic policy. Johnson's essay was originally read as a paper on September 5, 1972, at the annual meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.]

John Maynard Keynes—scientist or politician? The reader of the popular press of a generation ago would have had no doubt of the answer. Keynes, a swinging weather vane of a man, was the most unscientific of individuals—a cartoonist's dream. He was...

(The entire section is 5448 words.)

D. E. Moggridge (essay date 1976)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Economist," in John Maynard Keynes, Penguin Books, 1976, pp. 20-41.

[In the following excerpt, Moggridge describes the general character of Keynes's thought, his method of approaching economic problems, and his views on the making of public policy.]

Before examining the development of Keynes's economic ideas …, one should try to get inside the man and the mind behind the ideas in question—one must become aware of his habits of thought, his methods of working, his views as to the nature of economic inquiry, and the like. Fortunately, although Keynes did not leave behind an autobiography or a treatise on the nature of economic inquiry, his drafts,...

(The entire section is 6072 words.)

Richard Kahn (essay date 1978)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Some Aspects of the Development Keynes's Thought," in The Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. XVI, No. 2, June, 1978, pp. 545-59.

[In the following excerpt, Kahn examines Keynes's changing attitudes towards the quantity theory of money, as revealed in A Tract on Monetary Reform, A Treatise on Money, and the General Theory. The critic also discusses Keynes's views on the behavior of money wages and the causes of inflation.]

In this brief essay I have picked out certain particular strands of thought, on the basis partly of theoretical significance and partly of relationship to economic policy.

Monetary economics is in a state of...

(The entire section is 7588 words.)

Josef Steindl (essay date 1983)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "J. M. Keynes: Society and the Economist," in Keynes's Relevance Today, edited by Fausto Vicarelli, The Macmillan Press Ltd, 1985, pp. 99-125.

[In the following excerpt, Steindl judges the contemporary relevance of Keynes's ideas. Basing his arguments on a discussion of several key topics in the criticism on Keynes, he outlines the main points of Keynes's economic theory, illustrates how the unorthodox content of the General Theory developed out of Keynes's active involvement in the formulation of economic policy during the 1920s and 1930s, identifies the focal points in the critical attacks on the General Theory, discusses the way in which the revolutionary arguments...

(The entire section is 10445 words.)

Bill Gerrard (essay date 1988)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Keynesian Economics: The Road to Nowhere?" in J. M. Keynes in Retrospect: The Legacy of the Keynesian Revolution, edited by John Hillard, Edward Elgar, 1988, pp. 125-52. [In the following essay, Gerrard charts the development of what he terms "mainstream Keynesianism"—the various attempts made by economists since the publication of the General Theory to reconcile classical economic theory with the existence of involuntary employment—and assesses the value of these developments with respect to economic theory, method, and policy.]


Economics in the last fifty years has been mainly Keynesian economics, inspired by Keynes' General Theory. Keynes...

(The entire section is 10627 words.)

Mark Blaug (essay date 1990)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Keynesian Revolution," in John Maynard Keynes: Life, Ideas, Legacy, The Macmillan Press Ltd, 1990, pp. 25-37.

[In the following excerpt, Blaug attempts to explain the phenomenal success of the General Theory and the unprecedented rapidity with which Keynes's theories were adopted by professional economists.]

The impact Keynes had on economics with his book The General Theory is what is known as the Keynesian Revolution in economic thought. This Keynesian Revolution is one of the most remarkable episodes in the entire history of economic thought; never before had the economics profession been won over so rapidly and so massively to a new...

(The entire section is 5109 words.)

J. B. Davis (essay date 1991)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Keynes's View of Economics as a Moral Science," in Keynes and Philosophy: Essays on the Origin of Keynes's Thought, edited by Bradley W. Bateman and John B. Davis, Edward Elgar, 1991, pp. 89-103.

[In the following excerpt, Davis discusses Keynes's understanding of economic method in terms of his philosophical beliefs, focusing on his conception of economics as a moral science and his emphasis on the role of individual value judgments in the construction of economic models.] J. M. Keynes's theoretical understanding of economic method is one of the less well understood dimensions of his thought, both because Keynes's thinking, unlike that of most economists, was motivated by...

(The entire section is 5747 words.)

Robert Skidelsky (essay date 1992)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: An introduction to John Maynard Keynes, Vol. 2, Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1994, pp. xv-xxix.

[In the following excerpt, Skidelsky discusses Keynes's efforts to reconcile his private values with his public duties, focusing on the moral underpinnings of his economic theories. The first volume of Skidelsky's biography was published in 1983 and the second volume originally came out in 1992.]

'My purpose is to tell of bodies which have been transformed into shapes of a different kind.' This second volume of biography tells the story of Keynes's metamorphosis from aesthete, philosopher and administrator into world saviour. It is a reshaping of life-purpose which...

(The entire section is 5402 words.)

David Felix (essay date 1995)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Theorizing of the Middle Period: A Treatise on Money," in Biography of an Idea: John Maynard Keynes and the "General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money," Transaction Publishers, 1995, pp. 67-83.

[In the following excerpt on A Treatise on Money, Felix discusses the genesis of the work the weaknesses in its argument, and its contemporary critical reception.]

In Keynes's lifetime of inexorable success, his Treatise on Money, his only work to go beyond one volume, was the grand exception. In it all of his strengths and weaknesses were given space in which to play themselves out to the greatest extent: his gift for exquisitely refined...

(The entire section is 6107 words.)