nước và thực sự trên thế giới đang ở giữa một cuộc khủng hoảng bầu không khí đích thực-một cuộc khủng hoảng chính sách và hệ tư tưởng. Trầm cảm, do đó có hiệu lực, bây giờ phát triển nhanh chóng | r THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF ECONOMICS 8 identity of the problems underlying these different enquiries to be detected. At an earlier stage any attempt to discover the ultimate nature of the science was necessarily doomed to disaster. It would have been waste of time to have attempted it. But once this stage of unification has been reached not only is it not waste of time to attempt precise delimitation it is waste of time not to do so. Further elaboration can only take place if the objective is clearly indicated. The problems are no longer suggested by naive reflection. They are indicated by gaps in the unity of theory by insufficiencies in its explanatory principles. Unless one has grasped what this unity is one is apt to go off on false scents. There can be little doubt that one of the greatest dangers which beset the modern economist is preoccupation with the ừrelevant the multiplication of activities having little or no connection with the solution of problems strictly germane to his There can be equally little doubt that in those centres where questions of this sort are on the way to ultimate settlement the solution of the central theoretical problems proceeds most rapidly. Moreover if these solutions are to be fruitfully applied if we are to understand correctly the bearing of Economic Science on practice it is essential that we should know exactly the implications and limitations of the generalisations it establishes. It is therefore with an easy conscience that we may advance to what at first sight is the extremely academic problem of finding a formula to describe the general subject-matter of Economics. 1 See Chapter II. Section 5 especially the footnote on p. 42 for further elaboration of this point. 4 SIGNIFICANCE OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE CH. 2. The definition of Economics which would probably command most adherents at any rate in Anglo-Saxon countries is that which relates it to the study of the causes of material welfare. This element is common to the

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