Begins by focusing on the rise of formalism in the post‐war period leading to virtual monopoly as far as the method of economic analysis is concerned, and on the main consequences of this process. After mounting criticism of formalism, internal as well as external, it is acknowledged that some signs of renewed interest in a non‐mathematical approach and in its potentialities can be observed, particularly in the 1990s. Moreover, it is postulated that free competition between different methods, as opposed to concentrating on only one, is the best framework for the progress of economics. In particular, it increases the possibilities for dealing with many economic problems in an innovative way. Finally, outlines a possible stage where the two main methods (mathematical and non‐mathematical) have a more balanced and useful role in the course of economic analysis.
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