Wants and Metawants: Marshall's Concern for Higher Values

Walter W. Haines (New York University)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 1 September 1990


Although Alfred Marshall is usually considered as a materialist concerned with the abstract theory of supply and demand, his Principles of Economics and other writings are filled with personal, ethical, and social observations that mark him as an important social scientist concerned with the “higher values” that are the true end goal of human beings. Like Abraham Maslow, he builds a hierarchy of wants from the biological needs, through health and education, friendship and affection, esteem and distinction, excellence and self‐mastery, and on to morality and religion. He seems to condemn the me‐too‐ism of the present day and looks to an ideal future world of perfect virtue in which competition and private property would be out of place.



Haines, W.W. (1990), "Wants and Metawants: Marshall's Concern for Higher Values", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 17 No. 9, pp. 17-24. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068299010144175




Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited

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