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Keynes on what’s required to make a fantastic economist

The research of economics doesn’t appear to require any specialised presents of an unusually excessive order. Is it not, intellectually regarded, a very simple topic in contrast with the upper branches of philosophy and pure science? Yet good, and even competent, economists are the rarest of birds. An straightforward topic, at which only a few excel! The paradox finds its clarification, maybe, in that the master-economist should possess a uncommon mixture of presents. He should attain a excessive normal in a number of completely different instructions and should mix abilities not usually discovered collectively.  He should be mathematician, historian, statesman, thinker – in some extent. He should perceive symbols and communicate in phrases. He should ponder the actual by way of the overall, and contact summary and concrete in the identical flight of thought. He should research the current within the mild of the previous for the needs of the long run. No a part of man’s nature of his establishments should lie solely exterior his regard. He should be purposeful and disinterested in a simultaneous temper; as aloof and incorruptible as an artist, but generally as close to the earth as a politician.

That is from Keynes’s 1924 essay on Marshall, reprinted in Essays in Biography. Most of all, it’s Keynes describing himself!

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