Atomic Theory for Students of Metallurgy by W Hume-Rothery

By W Hume-Rothery

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16), which is thus founded on the mutual economic interests of men. 35 Quesnay made a fundamental contribution by putting the analysis of social and economic activities on a materialistic basis. This taste for investigating the material aspects of life made him an extremely careful observer. And if deism and materialism coexisted in Quesnay's mind, certainly in 1760 it was materialism, not deism that constituted the novelty' (Weulersse, 1910a, vol. II, p. 117). 36 1. 7 The answer: exclusive productivity of agriculture Quesnay's answer to the problem of the prosperity of France is simple and derives from his views on the origin of wealth and revenue: the theory of the exclusive productivity of agriculture (see Weulersse, 1910a, vol.

Thus only an analysis of the nature and origin of revenue and wealth can point the way towards the general welfare of the country. An explanation of the causes of the value of the net product was thus the central theoretical subject of the physiocrats, and measures to ensure its increase their main practical concern. 6 The method: abstraction and simplification The backwardness of the French economy raised several more specific questions- the main economic issues of the time. Which sector of the economy should be helped?

Only a comparison between the values of output and inputs could determine the size of the country's surplus. Exchange values therefore come into the picture, and Quesnay gives a precise description of the prices that affect the size of the net product; they are, of course, the prices of the products of agriculture, which must be compared with the prices of their means of production. In fact, as he writes in Hommes, even that produce which is necessary for men's needs is not, merely by virtue of its exchangeability, regarded as a profitable form of wealth if its market value does not exceed the value of the work and the other costs which its production demands (Meek, 1962, p.

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