Winch, Donald, 1935-2017

by Stefan Collini FBA

21 Nov 2019
26 (pages 471-496)

Although the history of economic thought had traditionally been regarded as an integral part of the discipline of Economics, in recent decades it has come more and more to be seen by economists as marginal or even antiquarian. At the same time, it has been increasingly cultivated within the field of Intellectual History, which encourages a more thoroughly historical and thick-textured treatment of past ideas. No single figure has been more central to this transition than Donald Winch. Trained as an economist, he developed an interest in the history of economic thought early on. Over time, encouraged especially by the innovative structure of the University of Sussex, where he taught for almost forty years, and by a group of congenial colleagues there, Winch became the leading intellectual historian of British economic thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, notably in Riches and Poverty (1996) and Wealth and Life (2009).

Posted to Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the British Academy, XVIII

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