Schumpeter's conceptions of process and order
Abstract: This paper scrutinises Schumpeter’s conceptions of process and reproduced order. In order to facilitate a detailed understanding of his position, his work is examined from different angles, in three successive ‘approximations’. The coherence, or mismatch, of Schumpeter’s conceptions is subsequently discussed. The paper argues that Schumpeter’s essay on social classes provides an ontologically grounded theory of process which is also a theory of reproduced order; and that this theory does not fit well with Schumpeter’s alternative conception of order as equilibrium. His methodological commitment to an orthodox notion of order as equilibrium is shown to be the source of pervasive tensions in his writings, here classified as ‘retroductive problems’ and ‘spurious problems’.
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