708. Harrod to William Beveridge , 24 October 1937 [a]

[Answered by 714 ]

Christ Church, Oxford #

24 October 1937

Dear Master

I have just read your address with great pleasure. [1] There are two points on which I do not altogether agree, your treatment of Keynes' book, the main contentions of which, despite its form, are, I believe, based on detailed and shrewd observation, and the, as it seems to me, excessive shackles you wish to place on our political activity. [2] But I dare say your experience at London has made you wiser than I on this point and I must confess that I occasionally get a qualm at certain developments over here.

But with regard to your main contentions about the method and status of the social sciences I am in entire agreement. [3] They appear to me very important and relevant as well as true and I hope the paper will have a wide circulation and influence!

Yours sincerely

Roy Harrod

  1. 1. W. Beveridge, "The Place of the Social Sciences in Human Knowledge", Politica 2, September 1937, pp. 459-79. See letter 710 for further comments on Beveridge and this article.

    2. Keynes's General Theory is discussed on pp. 463-67; the harm of combining the work in social science and political activities is discussed on pp. 473-77.

    3. In particular, Harrod is likely to have appreciated Beveridge's emphasis on the role of induction in the formulation of general propositions (pp. 460-61 and 479).

    1. a. ALS, two pages on one leaf, in Beveridge V/19-31.


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