Patinkin 1990 On Different Interpretations of the General Theory

Patinkin 1990 On Different Interpretations of the General Theory

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Journal of Monetary Economics 26 (1990) 205-243. North-Holland On different interpretations of the General Theory* Don Patinkin The Hebrew lJnu,ersuy of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerudem, Israel During the first quarter-century after the pubhcatton of the General Theoy, there were no significant differences among the various interpretations of this book. Such dtfferences began to appear only in the 1960s. These interpretations are critically exammed and an explanation given of their emergence. I To paraphrase Ecclesiastes, of making many interpretations of the General Theory there is no end, and that is what intrigues me. Why should there be *This paper originated in my Keynes Lecture dehvered at the British Academy m November 1989. An augmented version of the lecture appears in the Proceedings of the Academy for 1989. The present paper contains some mmor changes and additions to that version. and is pubhshed here with the kind permission of the Academy. Work on this lecture was begun while servmg in September 1989 as the James S. McDonnell Scholar at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) in Helsinki. During this visit I benefited greatly from discussions with my fellow McDonnell Scholars, Frank Hahn and Robert Solow I am indebted to both the James S McDonnell Foundation and WIDER for making posstble this most fruitful vistt. Without m any way burdentng them with responstbility for the end product, I wish to express my deepest appreciation to Menahem Brinker. Geoffrey Hartman, and Ilana Pardes for guiding my readmg in the field of hermeneutics, and for patiently discussing with me many of the problems that I there encountered. Again, without burdenmg them wtth any responsibility for the views expressed. I am also indebted to Brinker and Pardes, as well as to Chaim Barkai, Stanley Fischer, David Laidler, Donald Moggridge. Lutgi Pasmettt, Robert Skidelsky. and Roy Wemtraub. for valuable crittcisms of earlier drafts of this paper. Similarly valuable comments were received on the draft presented at the Department of Economtcs Seminar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Finally, I wish to thank Vtvian Nadir for her most pleasant and efficient technical assistance. Reprinted articles are referred to by the date of original publication; for convenience, however, the page references to such articles are to the reprint. All references to the writings of Keynes are to the relevant volumes of the Royal Economic Society’s edition of his Collected Wrmngs. These volumes are, respectively, referred to as JMK XIII, JMK XXVII, and so forth. The Treatise on Money is frequently referred to as the Treatise: and the General Theov of Employment, Interest and Money is referred to as the General Theory or GT This research was supported by the Basic Research Foundation administered by the Israel Academy of Sctences and Humanities, to which I express my thanks. I also wish to thank the Israel Academy Itself for the pleasant and helpful atmosphere m which most of the work on this article was carried out.
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