Robert Denis Collison Black 1922–2008

D. P. O’brien

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 166, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, IX

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264751
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734229 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Robert Denis Collison Black 1922–2008

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Robert Denis Collison Black was internationally recognized as the authority on Jevons, and in particular on the centrally important elements of Benthamite Utilitarianism in Jevons' thought. Jevons' Theory Political Economy was, Black argued, a Benthamite exercise, not a systematic treatise on value and distribution. This in turn explained why Jevons' theory of production was essentially classical, and why he had no theory of aggregate distribution. Black's work on Jevons also threw light on the professionalization of economics. Black was the well-merited recipient of many honours. In 1974 he was elected both a Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy. He became an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin in 1982; President of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland over the years 1983 to 1986; acted as President of Section F of the British Association in 1984–5; was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the History of Economics Society in 1987; and in 1988, Queen's University bestowed upon him an Hon. D.Sc. Econ.

Keywords: economist; Jevons; Benthamite Utilitarianism; biography; obituary

Chapter.  12024 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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