Menger’s Anti-Historical Method Versus the Neoclassical Anti-Historical Method

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Abstract

Due to the famous methodenstreit it is often well argued that Menger’s approach to social sciences can be seen as anti-historical, as according to him pure empirical studies are insufficient to establish a firm economic theory. By suggesting that some theorems have to precede historical studies, Menger may be seen as a representative of the a priori tradition in scientific method. The modern method in the mainstream of economic thinking is also to a large extent anti-historical and a priori, but because of its lack of realism and extensive reliance on very limiting assumptions. The main strength of the Mengerian anti-historical approach is lesser faith in imaginary constructs, implying a higher degree of realism in theorizing.

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