Economic Doctrine and Method: An Historical Sketch

Joseph Schumpeter

The science of economics, as it took shape towards the end of the eighteenth century, had grown from two roots which must be clearly differentiated from one another. The great writings of the eighteenth century of which Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations is by far the most important example, epitomized the work of previous writers and handed it down to posterity. They offer us two strands of thought that had long existed independently of each other. One of these strands originated in the study of the philosophers in the widest sense of the term, that is, those thinkers to whom social activities as such appeared as the fundamental problem and as an essential element in their conception of the world. This strand derived therefore from Philosophy as the great mother of all sciences. The other had been accumulated by people of various types whose primary motive had been their interest in practical problems of the day.

Economic Doctrine and Method by Joseph Schumpeter
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Joseph Schumpeter
Mises Daily Joseph Schumpeter
Menger was one of those thinkers who can claim a single decisive achievement that made scientific history. His name will be forever linked with a new explanatory principle which has revolutionized the whole field of economic theory.
Joseph Schumpeter
In the Preface, Hayek writes: Schumpeter was very much a “master of his subject”, in contrast to the “puzzlers” or “muddlers” which follow their own distinct ideas; he also showed a strong receptivity to the dominant opinions in his environment and
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New York: Oxford University Press, 1954, translated from the German 1912.