Only purpose of intellect is to be a servant of social sympathies
January 15, 2017  11:17
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, on Saturday, quoted Cambridge economist Marjorie Eva Robinson by saying, the purpose of studying economics was to ensure that people are not deceived by a clever economist.

In a very famous economic handbook, the Cambridge economic handbook, the great economist Marjorie Robinson said in the preface, when we study economics what is the purpose? It is not to find settled answers to unsettled questions, but to warn us how not to be deceived by a clever economist, Singh said at the launch of the book, Evolution of Economic Ideas by Vinay Bharat Ram.

When we study economics, our impulse is not the philosophers impulse, knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but for the healing that knowledge may have to bring. It is for the heart to suggest our problems, it is for the intellect to solve them. The only purpose of intellect is to be a servant of social sympathies. That gives you one idea of what economics is all about, Singh said.

Singh, however, did not speak on any other issue. After the launch of the book, there was a panel discussion in which participants spoke on the state of the Indian economy under the Narendra Modi government and the impact of demonetisation. Singh, who has been a vocal critic of the move, declined to participate and sat in the audience.

-- Arup Roychoudhury/Business Standard
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