Two minds that never met: Frank H. Knight on John M. Keynes once again – a documentary note

Luca Fiorito, Carlo Cristiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This note presents new archival evidence about Frank H. Knight’s views on John M. Keynes.The relevant material is composed of a series of lecture notes taken by Perham C. Nahl inFrank H. Knight’s course on Business Cycles at the University of California at Berkeley inthe fall of 1936. It emerges from the notes that the methodological gap between Keynes andKnight was irreducible, which explains the harsh tone of Knight’s published review ofThe General Theory. Connected to this is Knight’s strenuous defense of the ‘postulatesof classical political economy’ as criticized by Keynes in chapter 2 of his book, an argumentthat was better expounded in the classroom than in the review. However, besidesstrong criticisms, a few constructive remarks can also be found in the notes. In criticizingKeynes, Knight proposed an interesting analysis of the business cycle that he did notdevelop in the published review of The General Theory, and there is even some evidencethat Knight was attracted to Keynes’s discussion of ‘liquidity preference.’
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-98
Number of pages32
JournalReview of Keynesian Economics
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

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