ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Drawing after a bust of Nassau William Senior (1790-1864), English economist. Senior was born in Berkshire as the eldest son of a vicar. He was educated at Eton College and at Magdalene College Oxford. He took his degree in 1811 and in 1819 was called to the bar. In 1825 he was elected to the new chair of political economy at Oxford. Senior regarded political economy as a deductive science based on facts, rather than Mill's view that it is based only on hypotheses that do not directly correspond to the reality of society. While Senior's view is now largely discounted, his approach led to a new rigour of definition that benefitted the subject. Senior served on many Royal Commissions, including those on the Poor Laws and popular education.
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