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Character in Alfred Marshall’s work: not so commonplace?

Rozenn Martinoia

Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, 2014, issue 66, 35-68

Abstract: Character is commonly recognised as a crucial notion in Alfred Marshall’s thought, and more broadly in Victorian thought. However, this concept is never intrinsically defined. This paper offers an intellectual reconstruction of the notion of character in Marshall’s thought. While not denying that Marshall’s ideas evolve between his early writings and his later writings, this reconstruction focuses on the unchanged elements of his thought. This reconstruction is also an opportunity to re-examine Marshall’s conception of social ideal, on the basis of archives documents: Marshall conceives character as a complex of psychological, moral and cognitive faculties that – in a somewhat circular way – both makes sense in the light of his social ideal and serves his social ideal.

Keywords: Alfred Marshall; character; moral welfare; utilitarianism; perfectionism. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 B13 B31 D69 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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