In the history of economic thought, a number of heterodox economic thinkers have focused upon the manner in which economic doctrines are built upon an essentially unexamined vision of social reality. Karl Marx referred to this vision as an ideology generated in the interest of the ruling class. Thorstein Veblen saw it as a complex of preconceptions reflecting prevailing beliefs. Joseph Schumpeter saw these visions as providing the “raw material for the analytic effort” of economists. [Schumpeter, 1954:42] In all three instances the vision was understood as a complex of assumptions concerning social reality that economists accept uncritically, if not unconsciously, and upon which the science of economics is constructed.
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