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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Peter R. Senn

The purpose of this article is to study how the German historical schools are treated in the histories of economic thought as the background for an exploration of some…

3152

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to study how the German historical schools are treated in the histories of economic thought as the background for an exploration of some historiographical issues in the history of economic thought.

Design/methodology/approach

The study describes the contributions of the members of the German historical schools from a variety of different viewpoints and attitudes toward the history of economic thought.

Findings

One conclusion is that several of the things most of the economists of the German historical schools desired are now part of mainstream economics. These include an enlarged scope of economics, changes in the role of the state in economic life, attention to the relationships of law and economics and recognition of the importance of history. Another conclusion is that several historiographical and methodological problems important for the history of economic thought need further study.

Originality/value

The study helps to explain and understand some historiographical aspects of the history of economic thought. It examines practices, principles, theories, methodology and forms of presentation of scholarly historical research on one subject in the history of economic thought.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

1789

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Abstract

Details

Histories of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-997-9

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1995

Peter R. Senn

Describes how the opinions about Wilhelm Roscher and his workdeveloped during the century following his death in the USA. Possiblereasons for the changes are explored…

Abstract

Describes how the opinions about Wilhelm Roscher and his work developed during the century following his death in the USA. Possible reasons for the changes are explored. Special attention is given to the more favourable reception of Roscher in the USA as opposed to the UK. A central point is that his influence and importance in the USA changed as time passed and with the development of professional economics. Suggests new reading of Cunningham′s essay. Attention is drawn to some of Roscher′s works in English that have been neglected. Some problems of periodization in the history of economic thought are investigated. Several conventional judgements are challenged and possibilities for further research suggested.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 22 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2005

Willie Henderson

A review essay on Diana Wood, Medieval Economic Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2002. pp. xii+274. £45.00. ISBN 0521452600 and £14.99. 0521458935.The…

Abstract

A review essay on Diana Wood, Medieval Economic Thought, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2002. pp. xii+274. £45.00. ISBN 0521452600 and £14.99. 0521458935. The economic thinking of the Medieval period is not always treated in histories of economic thought. Its inclusion or omission depends on the decisions of authors with respect to the purposes and audiences that their histories intend to serve. Where the focus is the evolution of modern-day economics in terms of the development of economic analysis, it may be reasonable to predict that early economics or as some would have it “proto-economics” or Schumpeter’s “rudimentary economic analysis” (Schumpeter, 1986, p. 53) would have no place in history texts. In as much as there is no identification of “the economy” separate from households, it is possible to hold that there is no genuine economic theory. Such a tidy solution is not found, however, in the development of actual histories of economic thought. John Kells Ingram started with “Ancient Times” and then moved to “The Middle Ages” (Ingram, 1910). Erich Roll also starts early and works forward from there (Roll, 1939). Gide and Rist started with “The Physiocrats” (Gide & Rist, 1909), and Mercantilism in the early modern period is another possible starting point. Some fairly robust and well-established texts, concerned with substantive issues in the development of thought and analysis, include ancient and Medieval economic thinking. Gordon’s work on Economic Analysis before Adam Smith (1975) includes very early sources. Long-established texts such as those of Schumpeter (which views Aristotle as having enough systematic knowledge to qualify as economically interesting) and of Ekelund and Hébert, for example, include “Scholastic Economic Analysis” (Ekelund & Hébert, 1997, p. 25). But there are caveats: Writers like Plato, Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas lived in nonmarket societies in which individual economic decisions were taken by tradition and command rather than by individual, unconstrained economic agents. Consequently the lasting influence on western social thought of these early writers lies not so much in their insights into the operation of market forces, but rather in their preconceptions regarding the nature of social laws (Ekelund & Hébert, 1997, p. 9).Such generalisations, useful as starting points, are likely to need both hedging and nuancing since Medieval economic life did change. Wood insists on the changing nature of economic life and the intellectual adjustments that change requires. Wood, for example, places her discussion of “property” in a “growing sense of individual rights and possession” and on “conflicting legal ideas on property” (p. 19). The transition from poverty as something to be chosen as recommended by St. Francis to the notion that “a copious body of misers is the essential foundation of the State,” held by a fifteenth-century merchant Prince, also nicely highlights the transitions (p. 207).

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-316-7

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2009

Robert D. Tamilia

The purpose of this paper is to be more than a book review essay on the work by Tadajewski and Jones, The History of Marketing Thought. It reviews the literature on…

2911

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to be more than a book review essay on the work by Tadajewski and Jones, The History of Marketing Thought. It reviews the literature on marketing history and thought, and includes suggestions for additional research on that topic.

Design/methodology/approach

The research relies heavily on previously published articles and on databank searches.

Findings

A more complete time line of the history of marketing thought is presented. It is also shown that more biographical historical research is needed, especially on those pioneer practitioners of marketing whose legacy has influenced marketing thought and practice.

Practical implications

Knowing more about the history of marketing thought will prove useful both to academics and to practitioners. Biographies are also practical because we learn more about both the scholars and the times that have transformed this discipline.

Originality/value

The essay offers a brief but succinct summary of the history of marketing thought over millennia while at the same time reviewing a readings book on the topic.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Iara Vigo de Lima

The purpose of this paper is to analyse Michel Foucault’s new epistemological model regarding an analogy between the theory of language and economic thought in the…

256

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse Michel Foucault’s new epistemological model regarding an analogy between the theory of language and economic thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the scrutiny of language, Foucault intended to demonstrate that some analogies, among different branches of knowledge (interdiscursive practice), allow us to apprehend the underlying configuration of thought regarding ontological and epistemological conditions that have historically determined knowledge. He draws a parallel between four theoretical segments borrowed from general grammar (Attribution, Articulation, Designation and Derivation) and economic thought on wealth.

Findings

One of the most remarkable propositions of this approach is that the theory of language and economic thought were epistemologically isomorphic in that context. What the theory of language stated in relation to “attribution” and “articulation” corresponded to the “theory of value” in economic thought. What grammar investigated regarding “designation” and “derivation” was analogous to the “theory of money and trade” in economic thought. The relationships that were – directly and diagonally – identified between and among them led to the conclusion that there was ‘a circular and surface causality’ in economic thought insofar as “circulation” preceded “production”. It was “superficial” because it could not find an explanation for the cause of “wealth”, which was only possible when “production” was placed in the front position of theories.

Practical implications

Such an epistemological point of view can inspire other studies in the history of economic thought.

Originality/value

This paper offers a perspective on how to think about the history of ontological and epistemological conditions of economic thought.

Book part
Publication date: 20 May 2005

Warren J. Samuels

The first set of introductory notes to the graduate study of the history of economic thought, and the reasons for their use, was published in Volume 22-B (2004)…

Abstract

The first set of introductory notes to the graduate study of the history of economic thought, and the reasons for their use, was published in Volume 22-B (2004). Subsequently, while distributing the first set in my graduate courses, I initiated a largely new, second set of introductory topics, using a new outline for presentation in each course of lectures on further introductory ontological, epistemological and hermeneutic topics that went beyond the materials in the first set. For several years, I lectured using in part an outline of my 1991 essay (cited below). That outline is reproduced here as Set II.1. The notes published below as Sets II.2 and II.3 are composites, as to content and sequence of topics, of subsequent successions of lectures. Whereas the set of notes published in Volume 22-B was distributed to students with only casual accompanying remarks, these served for me as the basis of lectures and were not distributed. No set of notes published here indicates the comments I made, from course to course, when distributing the first set of notes on the first day of class. One difference between II.1 and II.2–3 is the increasing attention to historiographic topics vis-à-vis discourse-analysis topics with the passage of time. The common elements are, first, the social construction of reality, in two senses: the literal creation of society and the interpretations given that creation; second, the distinctions between truth and belief system, and between truth and validity; third, the continuing relevance therefore of epistemology and ontology alongside the rhetoric of economics; fourth, the relations of epistemology and language to policy; and fifth, the importance of limits. During this period of time conflict had erupted between advocates of the rhetorical and epistemological approaches to the history of economic thought. I was teaching that both approaches to the meaningfulness of ideas were important.

Details

A Research Annual
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-316-7

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