The thesis examines the textual and exegetical validity of Leijonhufvud's interpretation of Keynes. Discussed are the criticisms of Leijonhufvud, many of which are invalid. An alternative vision is supplied which strives to harmonise apparently conflicting ideas in The General Theory by considering the role played by conventions. The view is taken that the hydraulic, fundamentalist and reductionist perspectives all offer something valuable.
While largely agreeing with Leijonhufvud on the issues of (a) the role of money in the theory of effective demand, involuntary unemployment and the multiplier, (b) the importance of interest rates, (c) the longevity of capital assets, (d) the logical significance of the Keynes effect ..., his views on, (1) liquidity preference and the liquidity trap, (2) the long-run validity of Classical theory, (3) uncertainty and (4) the formation of expectations (among others) are
While friendly to many of the criticisms made by Brothwell and Jackman, it is clear that Leijonhufvud's views are more subtle than his critics have realised. Leijonhufvud's views have also changed slightly since 1968 in a way which provides immunity from some attacks. Fundamentalist post Keynesians (such as Davidson) should be far friendlier to Leijonhufvud than they are. More telling criticisms exist than many that have been made against him hitherto.
Most of the materials both in support and in criticism of Leijonhufvud were available at the time he wrote his book, although extracts from Keynes' Collected Writings are examined in some detail.