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Periodization Problems in the Economic History of Science and Technology

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  • Tamás Szmrecsányi

    () (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil)

Abstract

Nowadays there is no doubt about the interrelation between and mutual dependence of scientific and technical progress on the one hand and economic development on the other. Since this has not always been so, it has become necessary to define and to justify the time from which we may conceive an economic history of science and technology. This problem is easier to solve in relation to the latter than with regard to the former: the relationships between the scientific and the economic systems of any society are not only much more recent than those of the economy with its underlying techniques, but they are also predominantly indirect, usually mediated by or linked to some form of technological development. Technology acquired a scientific basis with the Second Industrial Revolution, whose nature however can only be understood when contrasted with that of the First one as well as with the processes of the professionalization of research and of the transition from natural philosophy and natural history to the contemporary scientific disciplines, both of which took place from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. KEY Classification-JEL: N73, 030, 039, 123

Suggested Citation

  • Tamás Szmrecsányi, 2009. "Periodization Problems in the Economic History of Science and Technology," Investigaciones de Historia Económica (IHE) Journal of the Spanish Economic History Association, Asociacion Espa–ola de Historia Economica, vol. 5(03), pages 47-73.
  • Handle: RePEc:ahe:invest:v:05:y:2009:i:03:p:47-73
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    Keywords

    Economic History; Science; Technology; Economic Development;

    JEL classification:

    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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