Proud to be Dismal

One of my colleagues brought to my attention today the origins of the term "dismal science". It was coined by Thomas Carlyle principally as a criticism of John Stuart Mill’s anti-slavery position. Carlyle apparently thought the notion of human equality was a dismal one.

More from Wikipedia and this article by David Levy & Sandra Peart.

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2 Responses to Proud to be Dismal

  1. Sinclair Davidson says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t know this. People who refer to economics as the dismal science are engaging in a racist slur. Often in faculty meetings when the smug progressives refer to economists as dismal scientists I take great pleasure in calling them racists.

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    Sinc, what I don’t know would fill a blog. But I’m glad to have this small gap in my knowledge corrected… albeit that I don’t think I’ll use it to call people racists….

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