As such, Stigler has probably been endlessly accused by non-mainstream economists and critics of mainstream economics as a dogmatic, closed-minded fellow.
And, you know, he may well deserve that. As it happens, however, it seems Stigler was also interested in the history of economic thought.
In what for me was a rather pleasant surprise, in a paper, with the slightly ironic title "Ricardo and the 93% Labor Theory of Value" , Stigler had these generous words to say about Ricardo:
"The basic reason Ricardo's theory is often misinterpreted is that it was often misinterpreted in the past. If a theory once acquires an established meaning, each generation of economists bequeaths this meaning to the next, and it is almost impossible for a famous theory to get a fresh hearing. Perhaps one hearing is all that a theory is entitled to, but one may plead that Ricardo deserves at least a rehearsing--his theory is relatively more widely misunderstood today than it was in his lifetime. One can build a strong case that the modern economist need not be acquainted with Ricardo's work, but there is no case for his being acquainted with an imposter".Mind you, exactly the same could be said about Marx (as I bear witness) and Stigler did not mention him. Stigler's generosity, I guess, had its limits.
Ironically, too, many critics of mainstream don't seem that much better, either.
And, it seems Stigler had a rather mischievous vein, for he closes his paper with the following footnote:
"Very occasionally a theory, unlike a dog, has its second day, as when Keynes persuaded many economists of the error of the century-long tradition that Malthus' criticisms of the full employment assumption of Ricardo were invalid. The example is the more remarkable because the tradition was correct".Unfair? Perhaps, but, I actually liked that parting shot. For a change, it's nice to hear that applied to others beyond the usual suspects.
 George J. Stigler, "Ricardo and the 93% Labor Theory of Value". The American Economic Review, Vol. 48. No. 3 (Jun, 1958), 357-367.