Contributions to Economics and Sociology Vilfredo Pareto

These observations are dispersed throughout the various works by Pareto. Trattato contains the essential features of the philosophy of science as expressed by Pareto.6 Throughout his work, Pareto applied his philosophy of science to develop theories and relate theories to facts. He used this to clearly explain the relationship between the dynamic and the static. He showed that though the static is only a phase, it is a necessary phase of the dynamic.7 The study of facts and consequent development of theories to explain these facts was his dominant occupation. The arguments presented in the Cours are illustrated using many statistical and historical references. In the later stages of his work, Pareto shifted his interest from analyzing statistical data to the analysis of sociological and historical phenomena. Pareto also did a critical examination of many of pseudo-scientific theories. In the Systemes socialistes, he subjects the logical inconsistencies of socialist economic theories such as the Marxist theory to a rigorous analysis. This is an illustration of the critical aspect of his work which is fully expressed in the Trattato. Pareto integrated economic theory into the social sciences. His main goal was to generalize the theory of general economic equilibrium by Walras so that it covers all the social sciences.8 He used the interdependence of social and economic phenomena as a guiding principle for his work. He believed that economic theory was part of a greater whole whose study was necessary, though not sufficient, in order to understand society. Pareto was the first scholar to clearly distinguish between the concepts of ordinal and cardinal utility by…
The men that are primarily moved by this class of residues behave like Machiavelli’s "foxes."23 They are capable of innovation, experimentation, and departure from common practice, but lack fidelity to uphold the principles and conservative virtues that can insure their stability…