[OPE-L] Schumpeter on the role of history in theorising

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2007 - 10:58:15 EST

"I have been primarily a theorist all my life and feel quite uncomfortable
in having to preach the historians faith. Yet I have arrived at the
conclusion that theoretical equipment, if uncomplemented by a thorough
grounding in the history of the economic process, is worse than no theory at

- Joseph A. Schumpeter, in a letter to Edna Lonegan, a student at Brooklyn
College, dated 1 February 1942, in Ulrich Hedtke & Richard Swedberg (eds),
Joseph A. Schumpeter. Briefe/Letters (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000), pp.
339-340. Quoted by Thomas K. McCraw, "Schumpeter's Business Cycles as
Business History". Business History Review, vol. 80 no. 2 (Summer 2006), pp.
231-261 (The quote is on pp. 260-261).

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