JEVONS, William Stanley.

Notice of a General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy.

[read before the Economic Science and Statistics Section of the British Association at Cambridge] in: Report of the Thirty-Second Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; Held at Cambridge in October 1862.

London: John Murray, 1863 Stock Code: 123182

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First edition of the complete volume of reports of the 32nd annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, over 750 pages long, including - in the section on Statistical Science - Jevons's two-page 'Notice of a General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy' (pp. 158-9).

A month prior to the 32nd meeting Jevons expressed some trepidation regarding the Association's reception of the 'Notice' in a letter to his son Herbert: "I have resolved however at last to let out my theory of Economy, & have accordingly written a short paper entitled 'Notice of a general mathematical theory of Economy' which will I hope be read at the Brit. Assoc. meeting at the beginning of next month. Although I know pretty well the paper is worth perhaps all the others that will be read there put together, I cannot pretend to say how it will be received, whether it will be read at all, or whether it won't be considered nonsense" (14 September 1862, Papers and Correspondence of William Stanley Jevons II, p. 452). The 'Notice' was read in Jevons's absence to section F of the Association in October 1862 and, as predicted by its author, was met with considerable reservation; just one short abstract of it, the two-page section present in this volume, was published. Though it received a lukewarm reception at the time and remained largely ignored by academic circles, the 'Notice' is now "renowned as the first statement of his new ideas in the area of value theory" (R. D. Collison Black in The New Palgrave). In 1866 it was published, with minor changes, under the slightly amended title 'Brief Account of a General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy' in the Royal Statistical Society Journal.

This Report also includes a second paper by Jevons, 'On the Study of Periodic Commercial Fluctuations', present at pp. 157-8.

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Octavo (212 x 130 mm). Recent half calf and marbled boards, spine decorated gilt in compartments, red and black labels.


Ministry of Defence and Admiralty library stamps to title and several other leaves. 4 folding tables and 3 folding plates.


One fore-edge shaved, title page re-hinged and slightly short at fore-edge; a good copy.


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