Social Scientist. v 11, no. 125 (Oct 1983) p. 7.

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self-effacing humility, dedication to research and a clear judgement to achieve such a result

SrafTa's last published major work, Production of Commodities by Means of Commodities, has appeared to be intriguing, stimalating and controversial even today, 23 years after its publication. It has the same chiselled scholarship, brevity, essentiality, and it combines both the critical and the constructive elements characteristic of his other works:

a critique of the marginalist theory of value and distribution and as a revival of the surplus approach of the early classical writers. The book, written as a Prelude, bears potentialities of many further developments. It clarifies and resolves certain problems in the value and distribution theory as they arose in Ricardo and Marx and hence suggests the minimum foundations for further extensions.

What kind of a man was the scholar Sraffa? Those who knew him closely will remember him as a gentle, humane person with a very charming and sparkling sense of humour—a person who listened attentively and loved to discuss but who also kept alone, riding his bicycle for hours in the countryside. The fierce, uncompromising intellect and unswerving convictions did not put hard edges on him. With friends and students, age, sex, country could be no barrier. He hated ^advising55 or "guiding55 on doctrines. To a young scholar approaching him for the first time for guidance, he would warn: "Don5! seek guidance. There are too many around anxious to do so.'5

Piero Sraffa belongs to a generation of scholars that is unfortunately fast disappearing. »

References to Sraffa's published works:

1 L'inflazione monetaria in Italia durante e dopo la guerra, degree dissertation ('Universita degK Study di Torino) published by Scuola Tipografica Salesiana, Milan, November 1920.

2 "The bank crisis in Italy", Economic Journal, XXXII. June 1922.

3 "L'attuale situazione della banche Italiane", Manchester Guardian Commercial—~The Reconstruction of Europe, XI, December 7, 1922.

4 "Problem! di oggi e di domani", letter to A Gramsci published with Gramsci's reply in VOrdine JVuovo, I, Nos 3-4, 3rd series, April 1-15, 1924.

5 "Obituary—Maffeo Pantaleoni", Economic Jownal, XXXIV, 1924.

6 "Sulle relazioni fra costa e quantita prodotta", Annali di Economica, II, 1925.

7 "The laws of returns under competitive conditions". Economic Journal, XXXVT, 1926.

8 "The methods of Fascism. The case of Antonio Gramsci", letter to the Manchester Guardian, October 24, 1927.

9 Symposium on the "Representative Firm" with D H Robertson and G Shove, Economic Journal, 1930.

10 "Dr. Hayek on money and capital". Economic Journal^ XLII, 1932.

11 D Hume. An Abstract of a Treatise on Human Nature (1740), ed and with an intrp-duciion byJM Keynes and P Sraffa, Cambridge University Press, 1938.

12 Works and Correspondence of David Ricordo, ed P Sraffa (with the collaboration of M Dobb), Vol I-X, 1951-55 and Vol XI (index), 1973, Cambridge University Press.

13 Production of Commodities by means of Commodities: Prelude to a Critique of Economic Theory, Cambridge University Press, 1960.

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