chapter  14
Vision and progress in economic thought: Schumpeter after Kuhn
Pages 15

This chapter considers the methodology proposed by one of the most important economists of the twentieth century in his, frustratingly incomplete, History of Economic Analysis. It is argued that Schumpeter’s methodology has much in common with that proposed by Kuhn in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, but that it is different in crucial respects. Whilst it can be argued that these differences reflect what would now be considered a naive methodology, it can equally be argued that they reflect a close awareness of modern economics. For example, he emphasizes analytical rigour rather than empirical testing, and he stresses the role of the synthsizer rather than the developer of new ideas as the basis for ‘classical situations. Schumpeter’s methodology could perhaps be seen as an early example of ‘empirical’ philosophy of science.