The System Paradigm
The introduction explains the sense in which the concept of a paradigm, whose originator, T.S. Kuhn, was inspired by the history of the national sciences, is applied to the context of the social sciences. Here the new paradigm does not necessarily replace the old; several paradigms may function effectively side by side. The milestones in the development of the system paradigm have been the works of Marx, Mises, Hayek, Polányi, Schumpeter and Eucken. Although these make a heterogeneous list in terms of their philosophies and political positions, they share a 'system approach'. They deal not just with individual details of the economy but with the system as a whole, and not just with the economy but with the political, ideological and social dimensions, paying special heed to the interactions between each sphere. The great task for the system paradigm is to study the post-socialist transition. For this, it is indispensable; its explanatory power cannot be replaced by any other paradigm. On the other hand, those applying the system paradigm (like the exponents of other paradigms) are often gravely mistaken. The predictive force of the system paradigm is limited, which urges modesty upon those who employ it.
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