عنوان مقاله [English]
In order to extend our understanding of neoclassical school of thought this paper focuses on the utility doctrine of Stanley Jevons. More specifically, in an effort to investigate the underlying axioms of this doctrine, our paper concentrates on ethical, philosophical and methodological aspects of “the mechanics of utility and self-interest”. The paper argues that Jevons combines the “utility” doctrine of Jeremy Bentham with the economic man of Adam Smith to develop his doctrine. This research discusses how Smith’s philosophy of ethics enabled Jevons to solve the inconsistency of the utility theory of Bentham when applied to economics. It is argued that this inconsistency mainly arises from the conflict between private and social interests. In order to bypass the criticism arising from this conflict, Jevons used Smith’s theory to propose that the social benefit can be achieved when a selfish individual peruses his own interest. Moreover, the paper studies the economic method advocated by Jevons and shows how the ratification of this method is the least satisfactory part of his doctrine. The paper concludes that using mathematics, as a major tool in Jevons’s doctrine is a natural byproduct of maximization principle and utilitarian approach. Finally, it suggests that one should take into consideration the limitations of Jevons’s doctrine before using it as an analytical tool in economics.