Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Schumpeter's Idea of a Universal Science

Bögenhold, Dieter (2014): Schumpeter's Idea of a Universal Science. Published in: The Atlantic Economic Journal , Vol. 42, No. 2 (June 2014): pp. 205-215.

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Abstract

This paper deals with methodological principles of Schumpeter’s academic writings. Those principles led Schumpeter to create diverse works and were reflected systematically in some of his writings, where Schumpeter emerged as a theorist of science. Besides working on specific topics, Schumpeter dealt systematically with methodological issues in different works. Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis, in particular, must be regarded as the one study among his diverse works, which is considered not only his latest but also his most relevant analysis concerning social sciences and the role of economics in relation to sociology, history and other academic branches. The substantial preface of the History of Economic Analysis can be regarded as a manual on how to refer to different academic branches and integrate them into a coherent universal social science, which is far removed from being an autistic, narrow economic science of some modern representation. Although Schumpeter’s History of Economic Analysis has been extensively printed in several editions, the idea is that the preface especially reveals somewhat neglected thoughts in Schumpeterian discourse. While Schumpeter is mostly regarded as a pioneer of evolutionary economics, this paper argues that Schumpeter could also, perhaps primarily, be interpreted as a well-reasoning institutionalist aiming at a universal social science. From today’s point of view, Schumpeter is a truly interdisciplinary theorist.

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