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2024 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

10. A Treatise on Probability and “My Early Beliefs”

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Abstract

In September 1938, Keynes read “My Early Beliefs” (Keynes 1939a) at the Memoir Club. This memoir, made public with Keynes’s “Will”, went on to draw attention from various angles. The reasons for this were, among others; (i) the only memoir which showed the path of thought followed by the economist who brought about the “Keynesian Revolution”; (ii) the ethical path pursued by a central member of the Bloomsbury Group; (iii) the path taken by an important member of the philosophical milieu in Cambridge.

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Fußnoten
1
See TP, pp.341–343. Incidentally, it is worth noting that Keynes carried out interesting research on the index problem around the same time. See Keynes (1909).
 
2
See TP, pp.126, 166–171. For Johnson, see Keynes (1931). An interesting episode with Naomi Bentwitch is described in Skidelsky (1992, pp.36–38).
 
3
See also TP, p.356.
 
4
See TP, p.35.
 
5
See TP, pp.13–14.
 
6
For such an ambiguous statement, see, e.g., TP, pp.56, 312.
 
7
A similar drift is seen at TP, pp.56, 76, as well.
 
8
See TP, p.3.
 
9
See TP, p.242.
 
10
See TP, p.242.
 
11
See also TP, pp.267–268.
 
12
See also TP, p.265.
 
13
See TP, p.267.
 
14
Immediately after the TP came out, Ramsey published a review of it (Ramsey 1922).
 
15
What is called “modern functionalist views of the mind” (Ramsey 1926, p.xviii).
 
16
See Ramsey (1926, pp.85–86).
 
17
See Hirai (2000b, Ch.7 “On My Early Beliefs”). Shionoya (1991) emphasizes the importance of accurately supplementing what Keynes is developing in “My Early Beliefs” and is thoroughly critical of Braithwaite’s interpretation of the failure to do so. The characteristic of Shionoya’s interpretation is that he tries to understand Keynes’ view based on “intuitionism”. From that point of view, he is trying to reconstruct Keynes’s system of moral philosophy.
 
18
See MEB, p.447. See also Braithwaite (Keynes, M. ed. 1975, p.318).
 
19
Ramsey’s criticism first appeared in 1922, and Keynes’s self-criticism does not seem to have a direct relation with his suspicion about the rationality of human nature. Ramsey’s criticism is of the concept of “probability” as defined by Keynes. And Ramsey’s alternative has also rationality.
 
20
Concerning this point, Bell (1995) critically describes that Keynes shifted toward conservatism. For evaluations of “My Early Beliefs”, see Skidelsky (1983), Fitzgibbons (1988), Carabelli (1988), O’Donnell (1989), Bell (1995), and Rosenbaum (1998).
 
21
These stances are expressed by Davis (1995), Bateman (1996), and Itoh (1999) among others.
 
22
Davis (1995) and Itoh (1999) consider this is the philosophy underlying the General Theory.
 
23
O’Donnell (1989, p.140).
 
24
Carabelli (1988) p.97.
 
25
Despite the high level of mathematical knowledge shown in the TP, it is worth noting that Keynes hardly made any use of it in his economics thereafter. As a key to understanding this point, criticism of “the methods of Laplace” and defence of “the methods of Lexis” developed in Part V, “The Foundations of Statistical Inference”, might be considered. It is also worth trying to pursue the fact that Keynes made ample use of relatively simple statistical methods (e.g., A Treatise on Money (Keynes 1930) while criticizing Tinbergen’s method.
 
26
For a case of a scholar taking this view, see Bateman (1996).
 
27
See also Sects. 2, 3, and 4, Chap. 4 of this book.
 
28
See Keynes’s letter to Harrod dated 4 July 1938 (JMK.14, pp.296–297).
 
29
Our answer to this point is Hirai (2003a, Chapter15 “The General Theory”; 2008b, Chapter 13 “The General Theory”).
 
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Metadaten
Titel
A Treatise on Probability and “My Early Beliefs”
verfasst von
Toshiaki Hirai
Copyright-Jahr
2024
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-40135-0_10