the dismal science

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the dismal science

A disparaging term for the discipline of economics, coined in 1849 by Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle as a label for the school of economists who supported the abolition of slavery. Economists have predicted that the exponential population growth will eventually cause our entire society to collapse in on itself—I suppose that is why they are known as practitioners of the dismal science.
See also: dismal, science

dismal science, the

Economics. The term is Thomas Carlyle’s, and he first used it in On the Nigger Question (1849), writing: “The social science—not a ‘gay science’ but a rueful—which finds the secret of this Universe in ‘supply and demand’ . . . what we might call, by way of eminence, the dismal science.” He repeated it the following year in a pamphlet, and it gradually caught on, becoming particularly popular among students struggling with the subject’s complexities.
See also: dismal
References in periodicals archive ?
It is generally believed that economics earned its nickname as the "dismal science" from Parson Malthus's population theories, but the source of this moniker might be equally attributed to the millions of economics students forced to read and regurgitate the hundreds of names of economists, dates, and concepts dryly presented in most economics texts.
Experts in what is often described as the 'dismal science of economics' often bandy about terms that obscure sensible discussion by talking in terms that fail to fully explain that the economy is not some machine, but the sum of human endeavours based on self-interest, competition, cooperation, and altruism.
Economics, usually called the dismal science, is also the science of choice.
Contrary to commonly accepted accounts, the major expositors of the dismal science in the late 19th century were anything but apostles of Adam Smith or laissez-faire.
Economics need not be the dismal science. Our furry friends have much to teach us about what is truly valuable.
However, for the general reader this is a good primer that explains the evolution of the 'dismal science' of economics, leading to the emergence of one of the past century's greatest minds, John Maynard Keynes.
Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science comes from an economist at UC Berkeley who also is a practicing Buddhist.
(See Star Trek Economics: A Future Free of the Dismal Science and The Real-World Star Trek Would Be Far From Utopia)
However, being a practitioner of the "dismal science" (economics), my instinct is that love will not triumph; "real change" requires "real change" in financial incentives.
Whilst economics is often called the dismal science, that is no excuse not to focus on the many positives being generated by businesses across Wales.
Whilst economics is often called the dismal science, that is no excuse not to focus on the many positives in the Welsh economy and the efforts made by the wealth creators and innovators working very hard every day to make this nation a better place.
WORCESTER -- As co-author of the best-selling "Freakonomics'' book series, Stephen Dubner makes what has been called "the dismal science'' -- economics -- less dismal for millions of readers.
We didn't get the nickname "the dismal science" almost two centuries ago by accident, after all.
Mayhew believes that readers have long misunderstood Malthus' contributions to what has often been called "the dismal science" (p.
Embarking here at the always uneasy intersection of philosophy and economic theory, Danish scholar Ole Bjerg has the chops for unpacking the dismal science, discussing economic concepts with flair and mostly avoiding stumbles into the dogmatic realm of the disciplines' competing languages and logics.