In the following year he was introduced to political economy and studied Adam Smith and Ricardo with his father.
Though Mill appears here purely as the disciple of Ricardo, striving after more precise statement, and reaching forward to further consequences, we can well understand in reading these essays how about the time when he first sketched them he began to be conscious of power as an original and independent thinker.
In the history of economics or the biography of Ricardo it is of interest to show that he anticipated later writers, or that his analysis bears the test of modern criticism; but no economist is under any obligation to defend Ricardo's reputation, nor is the fact that a doctrine is included in his works to be taken as a demonstration of its truth.
Like Malthus, Ricardo owes his reputation very largely to the theory associated with his name, though it has long ceased to be stated precisely in the terms he employed.
Such is the character of much of the work of Ricardo and some of his contemporaries.
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