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On Schumpeter’s 'The Past and Future of Social Sciences'. A Schumpeterian Theory of Scientific Development?

Lucarelli, Stefano and Baron, Hervé (2014): On Schumpeter’s 'The Past and Future of Social Sciences'. A Schumpeterian Theory of Scientific Development?

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Abstract

The present paper, taking the cue from the Italian translation of Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Sozialwissenschaften (The Past and Future of Social Sciences), a Schumpeter’s book which was not always well understood in the literature, tries to pose some questions about Schumpeter’s work. Firstly: is it possible, starting from that book, to reconstruct a Schumpeterian theory of scientific development? Subsequently: is Vergangenheit und Zukunft only «a brief outline of what first became the Epochen [der Dogmen– und Methodengeschichte] and finally the History of Economic Analysis», as Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter wrote in the Editor’s Introduction (July 1952) to the History of Economic Analysis (p. XXXII), or should it be read as a complement of Epochen and, possibly, History? Lastly: is it correct to say that Schumpeter’s work had the ambitious objective of developing a ‘comprehensive sociology’ as the eminent Japanese scholar Shionoya did?

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