Study Guide for Exam Two
April 5, 2007
- was a British writer, philosopher, and early feminist.
. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in which she argued that
women are not naturally inferior to men, but only appeared to be because they lacked education. She suggested that both men and women should be treated as rational beings
and imagined a social order founded on reason. Among both the general public and feminists, Wollstonecraft's life has often received as much, if not more, interest than her
writing because of her unconventional, and often tumultuous, relationships.
-- is one of the best-known leaders of the French Revolution. His supporters knew him as "the Incorruptible" because of his austere moral devotion to revolutionary
political change. He was an influential member of the Committee of Public Safety and was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror
that ended with his arrest and execution in 1794. He studied at College of Louis-Le-grand in Paris and became a lawyer.
The Iron Law of Wages
- was an alleged law of economics that asserted that real wages in the long run would tend to the value needed to keep the workers' population constant.
The alleged law was named and popularized by the German socialist Ferdinand LaSalle in the mid 1800s.
According to LaSalle, wages cannot fall below subsistence level because without subsistence, laborers will be unable to work for long. However, competition among laborers
for employment will drive wages down to this minimal level. This followed from Mathis' demographic theory, according to which the growth rate of population was – mainly
for cultural reasons – an increasing function of wages, reaching a zero for a unique positive value of the real wages rate, called the subsistence wage. Assuming the demand for
labor to be a given monotonically decreasing function of the real wages rate, the theory then predicted that, in the long-run equilibrium of the system, labor supply (i.e.
population) will be equated to the numbers demanded at the subsistence wage. The justification for this was that when wages are higher, the supply of labor will increase relative
to demand, creating an excess supply and thus depressing market real wages; while when wages are lower, labor supply will fall, increasing market real wages. This would
create a dynamic convergence towards subsistence-wage equilibrium with constant population.
- was a Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering political economist. One of the key figures of the intellectual movement known as the Scottish Enlightenment,
he is known primarily as the author of two treatises: The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The
latter was one of the earliest attempts to systematically study the historical development of industry and commerce in Europe, as well as a sustained attack on the doctrines of