Over the first decade of its existence, neuroeconomics has engendered raucous debates of two kinds. First, scholars within each of its parent disciplines have argued over whether this synthetic field offers benefits to their particular parent discipline. Second, scholars within the emerging field itself have argued over what form neuroeconomics should take. To understand these debates, however, a reader must understand both the intellectual sources of neuroeconomics and the backgrounds and methods of practicing neuroeconomists. Neuroeconomics has its origins in two places; in events following the neoclassical economic revolution of the 1930s, and in the birth of cognitive neuroscience during the 1990s. We therefore begin this brief history with a review of the neoclassical revolution and the birth of cognitive neuroscience.