The publication of The Accumulation of Capital in 1956 was followed by three other books which explained, elaborated on and developed its themes. In 1960, Joan Robinson published Exercises in Economic Analysis, ‘a textbook of a somewhat unusual kind’ (1960a, v), an ingenious and innovative attempt to get readers, especially students, to learn economic analysis by doing it themselves, guided by her blueprints and instructions. Not only were they instructed in elaborate analysis, much of it covering themes in the 1956 volume, they were also encouraged to think conceptually and avoid the pitfalls that Joan Robinson already thought their orthodox teachers had not been able to. She drew ‘attention to a few methodological rules [she] had tried to observe’: time had to be taken seriously. Comparing two situations, each with its own future and past, is not the equivalent of tracing a movement from one to the other (not least because, as she came more and more to think, you are unlikely ever to get there). Quantities only have meaning if ‘we can specify the units in which [they are] measured’. ‘Technical and physical relations, between man and nature, must be distinguished from social relations, between man and man’ (v).
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