Great Economists Since Petty and Boisguilbert
Edited by Gilbert Faccarello and Heinz D. Kurz
Chapter 15: Achilles-Nicolas Isnard (1748–1803)
During the 1780s and 1790s, after the decline of the physiocratic school and before the publication of J.B. Say’s Traité d’économie politique, few French authors made lasting contributions to economic theory. A clear exception is Achilles-Nicolas Isnard, even though recognition of his work had to wait until the late nineteenth century. Even in 1954 Schumpeter observed that Isnard had “as yet to conquer the position in the history of economic theory that is due to him as a precursor of Léon Walras” (1954 : 217). Since then the engineer’s early contributions to value theory have been recognized more widely as well as the relevance of his conceptions for input–output theory. Still, Isnard’s contributions to mathematical economics have often been appraised in isolation and their relation to his wider social and economic thinking has rarely been studied. Achilles-Nicolas Isnard was born in Paris, most probably in 1748. Though the names of his parents are unknown, it appears that the Isnards were a relatively well-to-do bourgeois family. At the age of 19 Isnard entered the École royale des Ponts et Chaussées, at that time the foremost institution of technical education in France. In his seven years at the school he received a solid training in subjects such as map design and architecture, and various branches of mathematics in which he obtained such proficiency that for a time he ended up teaching the classes in algebra and calculus. In the same period he also established friendly contacts with at...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.