The Counter-Revolution of Science

“The Counter-Revolution of Science.” Parts I-III. Economica N.S. 8 (February - August 1941): 281–320.


“In the course of its slow development in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the study of economic and social phenomena was guided in the choice of its methods in the main by the nature of the problems that it had to face. It gradually developed a technique appropriate to these problems without much reflection on the character of the methods or on their relation to that of other disciplines of knowledge. Students of political economy could describe it alternatively as a branch of science or of moral or social philosophy without the least qualms whether their subject was scientific or philosophical. The term “science had not yet assumed the special narrow meaning it has today, nor was there any distinction made which singled out the physical or natural sciences and attributed to them a special dignity. Those who devoted themselves to those fields indeed readily chose the designation of philosophy they were concerned with beach more general aspects of their problems, and occasionally we even find “natural philosophy” contrasted with “moral science.”

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