Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quote of the day

An economist is a surgeon with an excellent scalpel and a rough-edged lancet, who operates beautifully on the dead and tortures the living.
-- Nicholas Chamfort

I chanced upon this quote on my iGoogle start page.


  1. Anonymous said...

    Probably fake: Chamfort lived from 1741-1794. Smith's "Wealth of Nations" to which the subject of Economics is generally dated was published in 1776. It is too much to believe that within 20 years of publication, the subject had gained so much prominence...Furthermore, according to Wikipedia, the term in vogue was "Political Economy" and the use of the word "Economics" was after 1870. Google turned up nothing for the source of this quote.

    It really sounds like one of those "fake krithis" in Carnatic music, where a later lesser-known composer passes off one of his own composition as that of an earlier, prominent composer. Wonder about the motivation but that's a different topic.

    Not that it matters.