The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes
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The Elgar Companion to John Maynard Keynes

Edited by Robert W. Dimand and Harald Hagemann

The most influential and controversial economist of the twentieth century, John Maynard Keynes was the leading founder of modern macroeconomics, and was also an important historical figure as a critic of the Versailles Peace Treaty after World War I and an architect of the Bretton Woods international monetary system after World War II. This comprehensive Companion elucidates his contributions, his significance, his historical context and his continuing legacy.
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Chapter 10: G.E. Moore

John B. Davis


Moore’s early role in Cambridge philosophy and connections to Russell, Wittgenstein, and Keynes are described. His influence on Keynes’s early views is associated with Moore’s naturalistic fallacy idea and his open-question argument method of analysis. Moore and Keynes disagreed about how duty was to be explained owing to their differences over how the concept of probability was to be understood. Moore held a frequency view and Keynes believed probability was a matter of rational judgement. In his later “My early beliefs” memoir Keynes affirmed his attachment to Moore’s understanding of the good as what is intrinsically valuable and demurred from his view of duty and as conduct. Conventions were seen as central to the latter.

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