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

From: Jerry Levy (Gerald_A_Levy@MSN.COM)
Date: Tue Feb 06 2007 - 11:14:40 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  all."

Hi Jurriaan:

I  agree, but:

--  how thorough a grounding is sufficiently thorough?

-- what is the "historians faith"?  Faith in what?

-- he doesn't specify _why_ it would be better to have no theory at all than
theory which is uninformed by history.  Evidently he feels that there is a
real _danger_ to such abstract ahistorical theorizing, but he doesn't draw
out  the specifics of the danger.  Was the danger  for Schumpeter the
possible ideological uses of such a theory to rationalize exploitive and
oppressive relations by those in power?

In solidarity, Jerry

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