This article explores the basis for the well-known hostility of William Stanley Jevons toward John Stuart Mill, and offers an alternative explanation to those which have hitherto dominated discussion. After reviewing the importance of disagreements over economic doctrine and questions of scientific method, as well as the “psychological dimension” to the hostility, the article makes the case for considering a “fourth dimension”: the centrality of religion and, more particularly, an urgent fear of religious unbelief in the 1860s and 1870s. The article concludes that by identifying religion at the root of Jevons’s hostility to Mill we are reminded of the need to routinely consider religion and religious concerns when analyzing later nineteenth-century political economy.
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David Stack; The Hostility of William Stanley Jevons toward John Stuart Mill: The Fourth Dimension. History of Political Economy 1 February 2020; 52 (1): 77–99. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-8009523
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