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Schumpeter In The Context Of Two Canons Of Economic Thought


  • Erik Reinert


The publication of Schumpeter's "lost" seventh chapter--with the holistic and Faustian title "The economy as a whole", so typical of the German economic tradition--again raises the question of the ''duality'' in Schumpeter's economic thinking: On the one hand Schumpeter's typical ''Germanic'' approach, emphasizing dynamics, technical change and the entrepreneur, on the other hand his admiration for the mechanical economics of Walras. This paper attempts to explain Schumpeter's duality--his "schizophrenia"--by placing his work in the context of two different canons of economic thought, the standard mainstream canon (the ordnende and passivist-materialist tradition in Werner Sombart's terms) and what we have labelled "The Other Canon" (the verstehende and activist-idealist tradition in Sombart's terminology). The paper attempts to show that in the light of the now almost extinct Other Canon of economics, Schumpeter appears far less original than what he does to today's mainstream. It is argued that while the Harvard Economics Department during Schumpeter's tenure there moved away from the Other Canon type economics, Schumpeter found ample support and research activity in this alternative canon of economics at Harvard Business School. The paper explores the possible influences and similarities of thought on Schumpeter from three economists associated with Harvard Business School: Herbert Somerton Foxwell, Edwin Gay and Fritz Redlich.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Reinert, 2002. "Schumpeter In The Context Of Two Canons Of Economic Thought," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1-2), pages 23-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:9:y:2002:i:1-2:p:23-39
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710220123608

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wagner, Alfred, 1891. "Marshall's Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 5, pages 319-338.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katselidis, Ioannis & Vouldis, Angelos & Michaelides, Panayotis G., 2010. "Sumner Slichter and Emil Lederer: Central Visions Compared," MPRA Paper 74481, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Chris Freeman, 2003. "A Schumpeterian Renaissance?," SPRU Working Paper Series 102, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    3. Panayotis G. Michaelides, 2010. "Tarde's influence on Schumpeter: technology and social evolution," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 361-373, April.
    4. Helge Peukert, 2015. "Richard Abel Musgrave and Joseph Alois Schumpeter: Two intellectual authorities in economics and their shared and different frameworks, read through the lenses of the Perlman dichotomies," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 253-262, January.
    5. Stephan Boehm, 2015. "The best horse in the Viennese stables: Gottfried Haberler and Joseph Schumpeter," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 107-115, January.
    6. Panayotis G. Michaelides & John G. Milios & Angelos Vouldis & Spyros Lapatsioras, 2010. "Heterodox influences on Schumpeter," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 197-213, February.
    7. Ioannis Katselidis & Angelos Vouldis & Panayotis G. Michaelides, 2011. "Sumner Slichter and Emil Lederer on technological unemployment," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(6), pages 537-556, May.
    8. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Theologou, Kostas, 2009. "Joseph Schumpeter and Gabriel Tarde on Technological Change and Social Evolution," MPRA Paper 67189, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Stephan, Michael, 2011. "Der Einfluss der deutschen und österreichischen Nationalökonomie auf die Betriebswirtschaftslehre am Beispiel J. A. Schumpeter," Discussion Papers on Strategy and Innovation 11-02, Philipps-University Marburg, Department of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM).

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