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ADOLF WAGNER (1835- )

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 235 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ADOLF

WAGNER (1835- )  , German economist, was born at
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Erlangen on the 25th of March 1835 . Educated at
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Gottingen and
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Heidelberg, he was professor of
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political science at Dorpat and
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Freiburg, and after 187o at Berlin . A prolific writer on economic problems, he brought out in his study of the subject the close relation which necessarily exists between
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economics and jurisprudence . He ranks without doubt as one of the most eminent German economists and a distinguished leader of the
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historical school . His leanings towards Christian
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socialism made him one of those to whom the appellation of " Katheder-Socialisten " or " socialists of the (professional) chair " was applied, and he was one of the founders of the Verein fur Socialpolitik . In 1871 he undertook, in conjunction with Professor E . Nasse (1829-1890), a new edition of Rau's Lehrbuch der politischen Okonomie, and his own
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special contributions, the Grundlegung and Finanzwissenschaft, afterwards published separately, are probably his most important
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works . He approaches economic studies from the point of view that the
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doctrine of the
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jus naturae, on which the physiocrats reared their economic structure, has lost its hold on belief, and that the old a priori and absolute conceptions of
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personal freedom and
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property have given way with it . He
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lays down that the economic position of the individual, instead of depending merely on so-called natural rights or even on his natural powers, is conditioned by the contemporary juristic
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system, which is itself an historical product . These conceptions, therefore, of freedom and property,
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half economic, half juristic, require a fresh examination . Wagner accordingly investigates, before anything else, the conditions of the economic
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life of the community, and in sub-ordination to this, determines the sphere of the economic freedom of the individual . Among his works are Beitrage zur Lehre von den Banken (1857), System der deutschen Zettelbankgesetzgebung (1870—1873) and Agrar- and Industriestaat (1902) .

His

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brother, HERMANN WAGNER (1840— ), a distinguished geographer, joined the
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Geographical Institute of Justus Perthes in 1868, and was editor of the statistical section of the Gothaer Almanack up to 1876 . In 1872 he founded Die Bevolkerung der Erde, a critical review of
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area and population, and in 1880 he was appointed professor of geography at Gottingen . He was editor of the Geographisches Jahrbuch from 1880 to 1908 . His publications include Lehrbuch der Geographie (7th ed., 1903) and Methodischer Schulatlas (12th ed., 1907) .

End of Article: ADOLF WAGNER (1835- )
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