HOME

TheInfoList




William Stanley Jevons (; 1 September 183513 August 1882) was an English
economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the s ...

economist
and
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
ian.
Irving Fisher Irving Fisher (February 27, 1867 – April 29, 1947) was an American economist An economist is a professional and practitioner in the social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ...

Irving Fisher
described Jevons's book ''A General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy'' (1862) as the start of the mathematical method in economics. It made the case that economics as a science concerned with
quantities Quantity or amount is a property that can exist as a multitude Multitude is a term for a group of people who cannot be classed under any other distinct category, except for their shared fact of existence. The term has a history of use reaching ba ...
is necessarily mathematical. In so doing, it expounded upon the "final" (marginal)
utility theory Within economics, the concept of utility is used to model worth or value. Its usage has evolved significantly over time. The term was introduced initially as a measure of pleasure or happiness within the theory of utilitarianism by moral philosop ...
of value. Jevons' work, along with similar discoveries made by
Carl Menger Carl Menger (; ; 28 February 1840 – 26 February 1921) was an Austrian economist and the founder of the Austrian School of economics. Menger contributed to the development of the theory of marginalism (marginal utility), which rejected the co ...
in Vienna (1871) and by
Léon Walras Marie-Esprit-Léon Walras (; 16 December 1834 – 5 January 1910) was a French mathematical economist and Georgist Georgism, also called in modern times geoism and known historically as the single tax movement, is an economic ideology holding ...
in Switzerland (1874), marked the opening of a new period in the history of economic thought. Jevons's contribution to the marginal revolution in economics in the late 19th century established his reputation as a leading political economist and logician of the time. Jevons broke off his studies of the natural sciences in London in 1854 to work as an assayer in
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
, where he acquired an interest in
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ( ...
. Returning to the UK in 1859, he published ''General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy'' in 1862, outlining the marginal utility theory of value, and ''A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold'' in 1863. For Jevons, the utility or value to a consumer of an additional unit of a product is inversely related to the number of units of that product he already owns, at least beyond some critical quantity. Jevons received public recognition for his work on '' The Coal Question'' (1865), in which he called attention to the gradual exhaustion of Britain's
coal Coal is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , ...

coal
supplies and also put forth the view that increases in energy production efficiency leads to more, not less, consumption. This view is known today as the
Jevons paradox In economics, the Jevons paradox (; sometimes Jevons' effect) occurs when technological progress or government policy increases the efficiency Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and ...
, named after him. Due to this particular work, Jevons is regarded today as the first economist of some standing to develop an 'ecological' perspective on the economy. The most important of his works on
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...

logic
and
scientific method The scientific method is an empirical Empirical evidence for a proposition is evidence, i.e. what supports or counters this proposition, that is constituted by or accessible to sense experience or experimental procedure. Empirical evidence ...

scientific method
s is his ''Principles of Science'' (1874), as well as ''The Theory of Political Economy'' (1871) and ''The State in Relation to Labour'' (1882). Among his inventions was the logic piano, a mechanical
computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These ...

computer
.


Background

Jevons was born in
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the List of English districts by population, tenth largest English district by population, and its ...

Liverpool
,
Lancashire Lancashire ( , ; abbreviated Lancs.) is a non-metropolitan and ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as ceremonial co ...

Lancashire
, England. His father, Thomas Jevons, was an iron merchant who wrote about legal and economic subjects as well. His mother Mary Anne Jevons was the daughter of
William Roscoe William Roscoe (8 March 175330 June 1831) was an English banker, lawyer, and briefly a Parliament of the United Kingdom, Member of Parliament. He is best known as one of Abolitionism in the United Kingdom, England's first abolitionists, and as the ...
. At the age of fifteen he was sent to London to attend the
University College School ("Slowly but surely") , established = , closed = , type = Public schoolIndependent Independent or Independents may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Artist groups * Independents (artist group), a group of moderni ...
. Around this time, he seemed to have formed the belief that he was capable of important achievements as a thinker. Towards the end of 1853, after having spent two years at University College, where his favourite subjects were
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...

chemistry
and
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
, he received an offer as
metallurgical assay A metallurgical assay is a compositional analysis of an ore, metal, or alloy, usually performed in order to test for purity or quality. Some assay methods are suitable for raw materials; others are more appropriate for finished goods. Raw prec ...
er for the new mint in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. The idea of leaving the UK was distasteful, but pecuniary considerations had, in consequence of the failure of his father's firm in 1847, become of vital importance, and he accepted the post. Jevons left the UK for
Sydney Sydney ( ; Dharug The Darug or Dharug people are an Aboriginal Australian people, who share strong ties of kinship and, in Colonial Australia, pre-colonial times, survived as skilled hunters in family groups or clans, scattered througho ...

Sydney
in June 1854 to take up a role as an Assayer at the Mint. Jevons lived with his colleague and his wife first at Church Hill, then in Annangrove at Petersham and at Double Bay before returning to England. In letters to his family he described his life, took photographs and produced a social map of Sydney. Jevons returned to England via America five years later. He resigned his appointment, and in the autumn of 1859 re-entered the
University College London University College London, which Trade name, operates as UCL, is a major public university , public research university located in London, United Kingdom. UCL is a Member institutions of the University of London, member institution of the Federa ...
as a student. He was granted B.A. and M.A. degrees from the
University of London The University of London (UoL; abbreviated as Lond or more rarely Londin in post-nominals Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a p ...
. He now gave his principal attention to the
moral science Human science (or human sciences in the plural) studies the philosophical, biological, social, and cultural aspects of human life. Human science aims to expand our understanding of the human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous ...
s, but his interest in natural science was by no means exhausted: throughout his life he continued to write occasional papers on scientific subjects, and his knowledge of the physical sciences greatly contributed to the success of his chief logical work, ''The Principles of Science''. Not long after taking his M.A. degree, Jevons obtained a post as tutor at
Owens College Owens may refer to: Places in the United States * Owens Station, Delaware * Owens Township, St. Louis County, Minnesota *Owens, Missouri Owens is an unincorporated community in Wright County, Missouri, Wright County, in the U.S. state of Missouri. ...
,
Manchester Manchester () is the most-populous city and metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguis ...

Manchester
. In 1866, he was elected professor of logic and mental and moral philosophy and Cobden professor of political economy at Owens College.


Theory of utility

Jevons arrived quite early in his career at the doctrines that constituted his most characteristic and original contributions to economics and logic. The theory of utility, which became the keynote of his general theory of political economy, was practically formulated in a letter written in 1860; and the germ of his logical principles of the substitution of similars may be found in the view which he propounded in another letter written in 1861, that "philosophy would be found to consist solely in pointing out the likeness of things." The theory of
utility As a topic of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within thos ...

utility
above referred to, namely, that the degree of utility of a commodity is some continuous mathematical function of the quantity of the commodity available, together with the implied doctrine that economics is essentially a mathematical science, took more definite form in a paper on "A General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy", written for the British Association in 1862. This paper does not appear to have attracted much attention either in 1862 or on its publication four years later in the ''Journal of the Statistical Society''; and it was not till 1871, when the ''Theory of Political Economy'' appeared, that Jevons set forth his doctrines in a fully developed form. It was not until after the publication of this work that Jevons became acquainted with the applications of mathematics to political economy made by earlier writers, notably
Antoine Augustin Cournot Antoine Augustin Cournot (28 August 180131 March 1877) was a French philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wi ...

Antoine Augustin Cournot
and H.H. Gossen. The theory of utility was at about 1870 being independently developed on somewhat similar lines by
Carl Menger Carl Menger (; ; 28 February 1840 – 26 February 1921) was an Austrian economist and the founder of the Austrian School of economics. Menger contributed to the development of the theory of marginalism (marginal utility), which rejected the co ...
in
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...
and
Léon Walras Marie-Esprit-Léon Walras (; 16 December 1834 – 5 January 1910) was a French mathematical economist and Georgist Georgism, also called in modern times geoism and known historically as the single tax movement, is an economic ideology holding ...
in
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...
. As regards the discovery of the connection between value in exchange and final (or marginal) utility, the priority belongs to Gossen, but this in no way detracts from the great importance of the service which Jevons rendered to British economics by his fresh discovery of the principle, and by the way in which he ultimately forced it into notice. In his reaction from the prevailing view he sometimes expressed himself without due qualification: the declaration, for instance, made at the commencement of the ''Theory of Political Economy'', that value depends entirely upon utility, lent itself to misinterpretation. But a certain exaggeration of emphasis may be pardoned in a writer seeking to attract the attention of an indifferent public. The
Neoclassical Revolution Marginalism is a theory of economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology ...
, which would reshape economics, had been started. Jevons did not explicitly distinguish between the concepts of ordinal and cardinal utility.
Cardinal utility In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods an ...
allows the relative magnitude of utilities to be discussed, while
ordinal utilityIn economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and ...
only implies that goods can be compared and ranked according to which good provided the most utility. Although Jevons predated the debate about ordinality or cardinality of utility, his mathematics required the use of cardinal utility functions. For example, in ''"The Theory of Political Economy"'', Chapter II, the subsection on "Theory of Dimensions of Economic Quantities", Jevons makes the statement that "In the first place, pleasure and pain must be regarded as measured upon the same scale, and as having, therefore, the same dimensions, being quantities of the same kind, which can be added and subtracted...." Speaking of measurement, addition and subtraction requires cardinality, as does Jevons's heavy use of integral calculus. Note that cardinality does not imply direct measurability, in which Jevons did not believe.


Practical economics

It was not, however, as a theorist dealing with the fundamental data of economic science, but as a writer on practical economic questions, that Jevons first received general recognition. ''A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold'' (1863) and '' The Coal Question'' (1865) placed him in the front rank as a writer on applied economics and statistics; and he would be remembered as one of the leading economists of the 19th century even had his ''Theory of Political Economy'' never been written. His economic works include ''Money and the Mechanism of Exchange'' (1875) written in a popular style, and descriptive rather than theoretical; a ''Primer on Political Economy'' (1878); ''The State in Relation to Labour'' (1882), and two works published after his death, ''Methods of Social Reform" and "Investigations in Currency and Finance'', containing papers that had appeared separately during his lifetime. The last-named volume contains Jevons's speculations on the connection between commercial crises and sunspots. He was engaged at the time of his death upon the preparation of a large treatise on economics and had drawn up a table of contents and completed some chapters and parts of chapters. This fragment was published in 1905 under the title of ''The Principles of Economics: a fragment of a treatise on the industrial mechanism of society, and other papers''. In ''The Coal Question'', Jevons covered a breadth of concepts on energy depletion that have recently been revisited by writers covering the subject of
peak oil Peak oil is the moment at which extraction of petroleum The extraction of petroleum is the process by which usable is drawn out from beneath the earth's surface location. Locating the oil field Geologists and geophysicists use survey ...
. For example, Jevons explained that improving energy efficiency typically reduced energy costs and thereby increased rather than decreased energy use, an effect now known as the
Jevons paradox In economics, the Jevons paradox (; sometimes Jevons' effect) occurs when technological progress or government policy increases the efficiency Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and ...
. ''The Coal Question'' remains a paradigmatic study of resource depletion theory. Jevons's son, H. Stanley Jevons, published an 800-page follow-up study in 1915 in which the difficulties of estimating recoverable reserves of a theoretically finite resource are discussed in detail. In 1875, Jevons read a paper ''On the influence of the sun-spot period upon the price of corn'' at a meeting of the ''British Association for the Advancement of Science''. This captured the attention of the media and led to the coining of the word sunspottery for claims of links between various cyclic events and sun-spots. In a later work, "Commercial Crises and Sun-Spots", Jevons analyzed business cycles, proposing that crises in the economy might not be random events, but might be based on discernible prior causes. To clarify the concept, he presented a statistical study relating
business cycle The business cycle, also known as the economic cycle or trade cycle, are the fluctuations of gross domestic product Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the pl ...

business cycle
s with
sunspots Sunspots are temporary phenomena A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as tho ...
. His reasoning was that sunspots affected the weather, which, in turn, affected crops. Crop changes could then be expected to cause economic changes. Subsequent studies have found that sunny weather has a small but significant positive impact on stock returns, probably due to its impact on traders' moods.


Logic

In 1864 Jevons published a ''Pure Logic; or, the Logic of Quality apart from Quantity'', which was based on
system of logic A formal system is used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of rules. These rules, which are used for carrying out the inference of theorems from axioms, are the logical calculus of the formal system. A formal system is essentiall ...
, but freed from what he considered the false mathematical dress of that system. In the years immediately following he devoted considerable attention to the construction of a logical machine, exhibited before the
Royal Society The Royal Society, formally The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, is a learned society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) is an organization that exis ...
in 1870, by means of which could be mechanically obtained. In 1866 what he regarded as the great and universal principle of all reasoning dawned upon him; and in 1869 he published a sketch of this fundamental doctrine under the title of '' The Substitution of Similars''. He expressed this principle in its simplest form by saying: "Whatever is true of a thing is true of its like", and he worked out in detail its various applications including the '' logical abacus'' (a cross between logical
abacus The abacus (''plural'' abaci or abacuses), also called a counting frame, is a calculating tool that has been in use since ancient times and is still in use today. It was used in the ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of e ...

abacus
and a
piano The piano is an acoustic Acoustic may refer to: Music Albums * Acoustic (Bayside EP), ''Acoustic'' (Bayside EP) * Acoustic (Britt Nicole EP), ''Acoustic'' (Britt Nicole EP) * Acoustic (Joey Cape and Tony Sly album), ''Acoustic'' (Joey Cape ...

piano
– "Logic Piano"), a mechanical computer he designed and had built in 1866. In the following year appeared the ''Elementary Lessons on Logic'', which soon became the most widely read elementary textbook on logic in the English language. In the meantime he was engaged upon a much more important logical treatise, which appeared in 1874 under the title of ''The Principles of Science''. In this work Jevons embodied the substance of his earlier works on pure logic and the substitution of similars; he also enunciated and developed the view that
induction Induction may refer to: Philosophy * Inductive reasoning, in logic, inferences from particular cases to the general case Biology and chemistry * Labor induction (birth/pregnancy) * Induction chemotherapy, in medicine * Induction period, the t ...
is simply an inverse employment of deduction; he treated in a luminous manner the general theory of
probability Probability is the branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained ...

probability
, and the relation between probability and induction; and his knowledge of the various natural sciences enabled him throughout to relieve the abstract character of logical doctrine by concrete scientific illustrations, often worked out in great detail. An example is his discussion of the use of
one-way function In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of comp ...
s in cryptography, including remarks on the
integer factorization In number theory Number theory (or arithmetic or higher arithmetic in older usage) is a branch of devoted primarily to the study of the s and . German mathematician (1777–1855) said, "Mathematics is the queen of the sciences—and number ...
problem that foreshadowed its use in
public-key cryptography Public-key cryptography, or asymmetric cryptography, is a cryptographic system that uses pairs of keys KEYS (1440 AM broadcasting, AM) is a radio station serving the Corpus Christi, Texas, Corpus Christi, Texas area with a talk radio, talk ...
. Jevons's general theory of induction was a revival of the theory laid down by and criticised by
John Stuart Mill John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), also cited as J. S. Mill, was an English philosopher, Political economy, political economist, Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) and civil servant. One of the most i ...
; but it was put in a new form, and was free from some of the non-essential adjuncts which rendered Whewell's exposition open to attack. The work as a whole was one of the most notable contributions to logical doctrine that appeared in the UK in the 19th century. "Though less attractively written than Mill's ''System of Logic'', ''Principles of Science'' is a book that keeps much closer to the facts of scientific practice.""Jevons, William Stanley", in ''The Concise Encyclopedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers'' (1960), New York: Hawthorn. His ''Studies in Deductive Logic'', consisting mainly of exercises and problems for the use of students, was published in 1880. In 1877 and the following years Jevons contributed to the ''Contemporary Review'' some articles on Mill, which he had intended to supplement by further articles, and eventually publish in a volume as a criticism of Mill's philosophy. These articles and one other were republished after Jevons's death, together with his earlier logical treatises, in a volume, entitled ''Pure Logic, and other Minor Works''. The criticisms on Mill contain much that is ingenious and much that is forcible, but on the whole they cannot be regarded as taking rank with Jevons's other work. His strength lay in his power as an original thinker rather than as a critic; and he will be remembered by his constructive work as logician, economist and
statistician A statistician is a person who works with Theory, theoretical or applied statistics. The profession exists in both the private sector, private and public sectors. It is common to combine statistical knowledge with expertise in other subjects, a ...
.


Jevons's number

Jevons wrote in his 1874 book ''Principles of Science'': "Can the reader say what two numbers multiplied together will produce the number 8,616,460,799? I think it unlikely that anyone but myself will ever know." This became known as Jevons's number and was factored by Charles J. Busk in 1889, in 1903, and later on a pocket calculator by Solomon W. Golomb. It is the product of two prime numbers, 89,681 and 96,079.


Geometry

One of Jevons's contemporaries,
Hermann von Helmholtz Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (31 August 1821 – 8 September 1894) was a German physicist A physicist is a scientist A scientist is a person who conducts Scientific method, scientific research to advance knowledge in an Branc ...

Hermann von Helmholtz
, who was interested in
non-Euclidean geometry In mathematics, non-Euclidean geometry consists of two geometries based on axioms closely related to those that specify Euclidean geometry. As Euclidean geometry lies at the intersection of metric geometry and affine geometry, non-Euclidean geome ...
, discussed two groups of two-dimensional creatures with one group living in the plane while the other living in the surface of a sphere. He asserted that since these creatures were embedded in two dimensions, they would develop a planar version of
Euclidean geometry Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern ...
, but that since the nature of these surfaces were different, they would arrive at very different versions of this geometry. He then extended this argument into three dimensions, noting that this raises fundamental questions of the relationship of spatial perception to mathematical truth. Jevons made an almost immediate response to this article. While Helmholtz focused on how humans perceived space, Jevons focused on the question of truth in geometry. Jevons agreed that while Helmholtz's argument was compelling in constructing a situation where the
Euclidean Euclidean (or, less commonly, Euclidian) is an adjective derived from the name of Euclid, an ancient Greek mathematician. It is the name of: Geometry *Euclidean space, the two-dimensional plane and three-dimensional space of Euclidean geometry a ...
axioms of geometry would not apply, he believed that they had no effect on the truth of these axioms. Jevons hence makes the distinction between truth and applicability or perception, suggesting that these concepts were independent in the domain of geometry. Jevons did not claim that geometry was developed without any consideration for spatial reality. Instead, he suggested that his geometric systems were representations of reality but in a more fundamental way that transcends what one can perceive about reality. Jevons claimed that there was a flaw in Helmholtz's argument relating to the concept of infinitesimally small. This concept involves how these creatures reason about geometry and space at a very small scale, which is not necessarily the same as the reasoning that Helmholtz assumed on a more global scale. Jevons claimed that the Euclidean relations could be reduced locally in the different scenarios that Helmholtz created and hence the creatures should have been able to experience the Euclidean properties, just in a different representation. For example, Jevons claimed that the two-dimensional creatures living on the surface of a sphere should be able to construct the plane and even construct systems of higher dimensions and that although they may not be able to perceive such situations in reality, it would reveal fundamental mathematical truths in their theoretical existence. In 1872, Helmholtz gave a response to Jevons, who claimed that Helmholtz failed to show why geometric truth should be separate from the reality of spatial perception. Helmholtz criticized Jevons's definition of truth and in particular, experiential truth. Helmholtz asserts that there should be a difference between experiential truth and mathematical truth and that these versions of truth are not necessarily consistent. This conversation between Helmholtz and Jevons was a microcosm of an ongoing debate between truth and perception in the wake of the introduction of non-Euclidean geometry in the late 19th century.


Personal life

In 1867, Jevons married Harriet Ann Taylor, whose father,
John Edward Taylor John Edward Taylor (11 September 1791 – 6 January 1844) was an English business tycoon, editor, publisher and member of The Portico Library, who was the founder of the '' Manchester Guardian'' newspaper in 1821, which was renamed in 1959 ...
, had been the founder and proprietor of the ''
Manchester Guardian ''The Guardian'' is a British daily newspaper. It was founded in 1821 as ''The Manchester Guardian'', and changed its name in 1959. Along with its sister papers '' The Observer'' and '' The Guardian Weekly'', ''The Guardian'' is part of the G ...
''. Jevons suffered from ill health and sleeplessness, and found the delivery of lectures covering so wide a range of subjects very burdensome. In 1876, he was glad to exchange the Owens professorship for the professorship of
political economy Political economy is the study of production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ( ...
in
University College, London University College London, which Trade name, operates as UCL, is a major public university , public research university located in London, United Kingdom. UCL is a Member institutions of the University of London, member institution of the Federa ...
. Travelling and music were the principal recreations of his life; but his health continued to be bad, and he suffered from depression. He found his professorial duties increasingly irksome, and feeling that the pressure of literary work left him no spare energy, he decided in 1880 to resign the post. On 13 August 1882 he drowned whilst bathing near
Hastings Hastings () is a seaside town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origi ...

Hastings
. Jevons was brought up a Christian Unitarian. Excerpts from his journals indicate he remained committed to his Christian beliefs until death. He is buried in the
Hampstead Cemetery Hampstead Cemetery is a historic cemetery in West Hampstead, London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the ...

Hampstead Cemetery
.


Legacy

Jevons was a prolific writer, and at the time of his death was a leader in the UK both as a logician and as an economist.
Alfred Marshall Alfred Marshall (26 July 1842 – 13 July 1924) was an English economist, who was one of the most influential economists of his time. His book, '' Principles of Economics'' (1890), was the dominant economic textbook in England for many years. ...

Alfred Marshall
said of his work in economics that it "will probably be found to have more constructive force than any, save that of
Ricardo Ricardo is the Spanish language, Spanish and Portuguese language, Portuguese cognate of the name Richard. It derived from Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germanic ''*rīks'' 'king, ruler' + ''*harduz'' ''hard, brave'. It may be a given name, or a ...

Ricardo
, that has been done during the last hundred years." Jevons's theory of induction has continued to be influential: "Jevons's general view of induction has received a powerful and original formulation in the work of a modern-day philosopher, Professor ."


Works

*1862. ''A General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy'' *1863
''A Serious Fall in the Value of Gold''
Edward Stanford. *1864
''Pure Logic; or, the Logic of Quality apart from Quantity''
Edward Stanford, London *1865. ''The Coal Question'', Macmillan and Co. *1869
''The Substitution of Similars, The True Principle of Reasoning''
Macmillan & Co. *1870
''Elementary Lessons on Logic''
Macmillan & Co., London *1871. ''The Match Tax: A Problem in Finance'', Edward Stanford. *1871.
The Theory of Political Economy
', Macmillan & Co. **"Theory of Political Economy". In James R. Newman, ed., ''The World of Mathematics'', Vol. 2, Part IV, 1956. *1874. ''Principles of Science'', Macmillan & Co. *1875. ''Money and the Mechanism of Exchange'', D. Appleton and Co. *1878.

' *1880. ''Studies in Deductive Logic''
1884 edition
(Macmillan & Co., London) *1882. ''The State in Relation to Labour'' *1883. ''Methods of Social Reform and Other Papers'', Macmillan and Co. **''Methods of Social Reform, and Other Papers'', Kelley, 1965. *1884
''Investigations in Currency and Finance''
Macmillan and Co. 1884. *1886
''Letters and Journal of W. Stanley Jevons''
Ed. by Harriet A. Jevons, Macmillan & Co. *1972–81. ''Papers and Correspondence'', edited by R. D. Collison Black, Macmillan & the Royal Economic Society (7 vol.)


Articles


"On the Variation of Prices and the Value of the Currency since 1782"
''Journal of the Statistical Society of London'', Vol. 28, No. 2, June 1865.
"On the Frequent Autumnal Pressure in the Money Market, and the Action of the Bank of England"
''Journal of the Statistical Society of London'', Vol. 29, No. 2, June 1866.
"On the Condition of the Metallic Currency of the United Kingdom, with Reference to the Question of International Coinage"
''Journal of the Statistical Society of London'', Vol. 31, No. 4, December 1868.
"Who Discovered the Quantification of the Predicate?"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXI, December 1872/May 1873.
"The Philosophy of Inductive Inference"
''Fortnightly Review'', Vol. XIV, New Series, 1873.
"The Use of Hypothesis"
''Fortnightly Review'', Vol. XIV, New Series, 1873.
"The Railways and the State"
In: ''Essays and Addresses'', Macmillan & Co., 1874.
"The Future of Political Economy"
''Fortnightly Review'', Vol. XX, New Series, 1876.
"Cruelty to Animals: A Study in Sociology"
''Fortnightly Review'', Vol. XIX, New Series, 1876.
"The Silver Question"
''Journal of Social Science'', No. IX, January 1878.
"John Stuart Mill's Philosophy Tested"Part II
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXI, December 1877/January 1878
Part III
Vol. XXXII, April 1878.Jackson, Reginald. "Mill's Treatment of Geometry: A Reply to Jevons", ''Mind'', New Series, Vol. 50, No. 197, January 1941.
"Methods of Social Reform, I: Amusements of the People"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXIII, October 1878.
"Methods of Social Reform, II: A State Parcel Post"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXIV, January 1879.
"The Periodicity of Commercial Crises, and its Physical Explanation,"
''Journal of The Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland'', Vol. VII, Part 54, 1878/1879.
"Experimental Legislation and the Drink Traffic"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXVII, January/June 1880.
"Recent Mathematico-Logical Memoirs"
''Nature'', Vol. XXIII, 24 March 1881.
"Richard Cantillon and the Nationality of Political Economy"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXIX, January/June 1881.
"The Rationale of Free Public Libraries"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXIX, January/June 1881.
"Bimetallism"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XXXIX, January/June 1881.
"Married Women in Factories"
''The Contemporary Review'', Vol. XLI, January/June 1882.


Miscellany

*Luigi Cossa
''Guide to the Study of Political Economy''
with a Preface by W. Stanley Jevons, Macmillan & Co., 1880. *Jevons & his theory on a possible ommection between sunspots & economic activity cycles, were mentioned by Lovecraft in his
The Shadow out of Time ''The Shadow Out of Time'' is a novella A novella is a short novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfictional ( memoir, bi ...

The Shadow out of Time
as discussed by Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee just before he was abducted by the Great Race.


References


Sources

* *R.D. Collison Black (1987). "Jevons, William Stanley", ''
The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics ''The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics'' (2018), 3rd ed., is an twenty-volume reference work on economics published by Palgrave Macmillan. It contains around 3,000 entries, including many classic essays from the original Inglis Palgrave Dictiona ...
'', v. 2, pp. 1008–14. *
Ivor Grattan-Guinness Ivor Owen Grattan-Guinness (23 June 1941 – 12 December 2014) was a History of mathematics, historian of mathematics and History of logic, logic. Life Grattan-Guinness was born in Bakewell, England; his father was a mathematics teacher and educ ...
, 2000. ''The Search for Mathematical Roots 1870–1940''. Princeton University Press. *Terry Peach (1987). "Jevons as an economic theorist", ''The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics'', v. 2, pp. 1014–19. *The first part of this article was based on an article in the
Encyclopedia of Marxism Marxists Internet Archive (also known as MIA or Marxists.org) is a non-profit online encyclopedia that hosts a multilingual library (created in 1990) of the works of Communism, communist, Anarchism, anarchist, and Socialism, socialist writers, such ...
a
www.marxists.org


Further reading

*Bam, Vincent, ''et al''. "Hypothetical Fallibilism in Peirce and Jevons", ''Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society'', Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring, 1979. *Barrett, Lindsay and Connell, Matthew

''The Rutherford Journal'', Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2006. *Collison Black, R. D. "Jevons and Cairnes", ''Economica'', New Series, Vol. 27, No. 107, Aug., 1960. *Collison Black, R. D. "Jevons, Bentham and De Morgan", ''Economica'', New Series, Vol. 39, No. 154, May, 1972. *De Marchi, N. B. "The Noxious Influence of Authority: A Correction of Jevons' Charge", ''Journal of Law and Economics'', Vol. 16, No. 1, Apr., 1973. *Grattan-Guinness, I. "'In Some Parts Rather Rough': A Recently Discovered Manuscript Version of William Stanley Jevons's 'General Mathematical Theory of Political Economy' (1862)", ''History of Political Economy'', Vol. 34, Number 4, Winter 2002. *Jevons, H. Winefrid. "William Stanley Jevons: His Life", ''Econometrica'', Vol. 2, No. 3, Jul., 1934. *Keynes, J. M. "William Stanley Jevons 1835–1882: A Centenary Allocation on his Life and Work as Economist and Statistician", ''Journal of the Royal Statistical Society'', Vol. 99, No. 3, 1936. *Könekamp, Rosamund. "William Stanley Jevons (1835–1882). Some Biographical Notes", ''Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies'', Vol. 30, No. 3, Sept. 1962. *Konvitz, Milton R. "An Empirical Theory of the Labor Movement: W. Stanley Jevons", ''The Philosophical Review'', Vol. 57, No. 1, Jan., 1948. *La Nauze, J. A. "The Conception of Jevon's Utility Theory", ''Economica'', New Series, Vol. 20, No. 80, Nov., 1953. *Maas, Harro. ''William Stanley Jevons and the Making of Modern Economics'', Cambridge University Press, 2005. *Madureira, Nuno Luis. "The Anxiety of Abundance: William Stanley Jevons and Coal Scarcity in the Nineteenth Century", ''Environment and History'', Volume 18, Number 3, August 2012. *Mays, W. and Henry, D. P. "Jevons and Logic", ''Mind'', New Series, Vol. 62, No. 248, Oct., 1953. *Mosselmans, Bert
"William Stanley Jevons and the Extent of Meaning in Logic and Economics"
''History and Philosophy of Logic'', Volume 19, Issue 2, 1998. *Mosselmans, Bert. ''William Stanley Jevons and the Cutting Edge of Economics'', Routledge, 2007. *Noller, Carl W. "Jevons on Cost", ''Southern Economic Journal'', Vol. 39, No. 1, Jul., 1972. *Paul, Ellen Frankel. "W. Stanley Jevons: Economic Revolutionary, Political Utilitarian", ''Journal of the History of Ideas'', Vol. 40, No. 2, Apr./Jun., 1979. *Peart, Sandra. "'Disturbing Causes', 'Noxious Errors', and the Theory-Practice Distinction in the Economics of J.S. Mill and W.S. Jevons", ''The Canadian Journal of Economics'', Vol. 28, No. 4b, Nov., 1995. *Peart, Sandra. ''The Economics of W. S. Jevons'', Routledge, 1996. *Peart, Sandra. "Jevons and Menger Re-Homogenized?: Jaffé after 20 Years", ''The American Journal of Economics and Sociology'', Vol. 57, No. 3, Jul., 1998. *Peart, Sandra. "Facts Carefully Marshalled' in the Empirical Studies of William Stanley Jevons", ''History of Political Economy'', Vol. 33, Annual Supplement, 2001. *Robertson, Ross M. "Jevons and His Precursors", ''Econometrica'', Vol. 19, No. 3, Jul., 1951. *Schabas, Margaret. "The 'Worldly Philosophy' of William Stanley Jevons", ''Victorian Studies'', Vol. 28, No. 1, Autumn, 1984. *Schabas, Margaret. "Alfred Marshall, W. Stanley Jevons, and the Mathematization of Economics", ''Isis'', Vol. 80, No. 1, Mar., 1989. *Schabas, Margaret. ''A World Ruled by Number: William Stanley Jevons and the Rise of Mathematical Economics'', Princeton University Press, 1990. *Strong, John V. "The Infinite Ballot Box of Nature: De Morgan, Boole, and Jevons on Probability and the Logic of Induction", ''PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association'', Vol. 1976, Volume One: Contributed Papers, 1976. *Wood, John C. ''William Stanley Jevons: Critical Assessments'', 2 vol., Routledge, 1988. *York, Richard
"Ecological Paradoxes: William Stanley Jevons and the Paperless Office"
''Human Ecology Review'', Vol. 13, No. 2, 2006. *Young, Allyn A
"Jevons' 'Theory of Political Economy'"
''The American Economic Review'', Vol. 2, No. 3, Sep., 1912. *Shepherdson, John C. "W. S. Jevons: his Logical Machine and Work Induction and Boolean Algebra" ''Machine Intelligence'' 15. eds. K. Furukawa; D. Michie; S. Muggleton. OUP, 1998. p. 489–505.


External links

*
Royal Society certificate of election 1872
at ''
The Rutherford Journal Brian Jack Copeland (born 1950) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury, ChristchurchChristchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand. Christchurch may also refer to: Places * Christchurch, New Zeala ...
''
The Coal Question – Encyclopedia of EarthLetters and Journal of W. Stanley Jevons
edited by his wife (1886). This work contains a bibliography of Jevons's writings. * *
Jevons Family Archive
at
John Rylands Library The John Rylands Research Institute and Library is a late-Victorian neo-Gothic Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. The moveme ...
, Manchester. ;Works available online: * *
The Coal Question
(also availabl
here

The Theory of Political EconomyMoney and the Mechanism of Exchange''Elementary Lessons in Logic''''Money and the Mechanism of Exchange''''The Theory of Political Economy''
* ttps://archive.org/details/theorypolitical00jevogoog The Principles of Political Economy 1871,
The Theory of Political Economy
1879, 2nd ed.
The Theory of Political Economy
1888, 3rd ed. (1879 ed. + 3rd Preface by Harriet A. Jevons & adds to bibliographic 1st Appendix). {{DEFAULTSORT:Jevons, William Stanley Academics from Liverpool Academics of University College London Accidental deaths in England Alumni of University College London Burials at Hampstead Cemetery Deaths by drowning English economists English logicians English philosophers English statisticians Environmental economists
Fellows of the Royal Society {{CatAutoTOC People associated with the Royal Society United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as ...
Neoclassical economics Neoclassical economists People educated at University College School 1835 births 1882 deaths 19th-century British philosophers 19th-century economists 19th-century English mathematicians Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society