chapter
Introduction
WithMax Alter
Pages 21

Why and how should one study the history of economics? There are many answers to this question, and the one premise they all have in common is the famous dictum, it depends. It depends, above all, on who answers this question. Those who regard the development of economics as continuous progress and refinement of theory will be more inclined to look at it in retrospect or as history of economic analysis. Those who regard it, or at least most of it, as ideology, bourgeois or otherwise, may see very little progress and a great deal of apologetics. Those who are attracted by the concept of paradigm and the methodology of scientific research programmes may take the view that the progress of economics is conditioned by schools of thought fighting each other and that it thus resembles more the drunkard's walk than a straight line.