Professor Mueser and I followed the catalog description quite closely during the fall 2015 semester and felt that the topical coverage was about right, so we plan to do so again in fall 2016. It is: Origins of modern economic thought in the context of social and intellectual environment of the time in which they originated, their contribution to their period and to modern thought. This is not part of a multi-course sequence.
Having now taught this recently, we now have a topics list. Here is an edited version that we plan to use for fall 2016 ("M&S" refers to Madema, Steven G. and Warren J. Samuels. The History of Economic Thought, A Reader (second ed. 2013), London: Routledge; "H" refers to Heilbroner, Robert L. The Worldly Philosophers (seventh ed. 1999), New York: Touchstone. August 25 - 27. Introduction (M&S pp. 1-4; H pp. 13-17). Earliest roots: Private property, reciprocity in exchange, the "just price," usury. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (M&S pp. 16-17), Aquinas's Summa Theologica (M&S pp. 18-34). September 1 - 3. Mercantilism: Emergence of (national) wealth acquisition as a desirable objective (H pp. 18-41). Mun's England's Treasure by Foreign Trade (M&S pp. 35-50), Locke's Of Civil Government and Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest, and Raising the Value of Money (M&S pp. 64-85). September 8 - 10. Physiocracy: Beginnings of economics as a science. Quesnay's Tableu Economique (M&S pp. 106-113), Turgot's Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth (M&S pp. 114-130). September 15 & 17. Classicism: Laissez faire, the economy as a whole, and the harmony of interests. Hume's Of Money, Of Interest, and Of the Balance of Trade (M&S pp. 146-167). September 22 - 24. Adam Smith: Classical economics defined (H pp. 42-74). An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (M&S pp. 168-196; Book I, Chapter 10 posted on Blackboard). September 29 - October 1. Malthus: Overpopulation and disequilibrium (H pp. 75-104). An Essay on the Principle of Population (M&S pp. 210-225). October 6 - 8. Ricardo: Distribution rather than production; rent and the labor theory of value. On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (M&S pp. 268-301). October 13 -15. J. S. Mill: Modified harmonious system; beginnings of socialism (H pp. 105-135). Principles of Political Economy (M&S pp. 348-385). October 20 - 22. Karl Marx: Contradictions of capitalism and inevitability of communism (H pp. 136-169). Das Kapital (M&S pp. 387-428). Jonathan Sperber's presentation "Marx the Economist" (posted on Blackboard). October 27 - 29. Marginalism: Optimal decision-making defined (H pp. 170-212). Jevons's The Theory of Political Economy (M&S pp. 429-462). November 3 - 5. General equilibrium: Walras' Elements of Pure Economics (M&S pp. 483-499). November 10 - 12. Supply and demand: Marshall's Principles of Economics (M&S pp. 526-547), Shove's The Place of Marshall's Principles' in the Development of Economic Theory (posted on Blackboard). November 17 - 19. Institutionalism: A resurgence of sociology and ethics in economics (H pp. 213-247). Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class (M&S pp. 641-680). December 1 - 3. Disequilibrium, again: Keynes (H pp. 248-287), The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (M&S pp. 618-639). December 8 - 10. Monetary Economics: Fischer's The Purchasing Power of Money and its Relation to Credit Interest and Crises (M&S pp. 590-617), Friedman's The Role of Monetary Policy (M&S pp. 745-758).