"Some Problems of Logical Method in Political Economy"

Jacob Viner
Viner, Jacob
(1892-1970)
CEE
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First Pub. Date
1917
Publisher
Journal of Political Economy. vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 236-260. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago
Pub. Date
1917
Comments
Copyright
The text of this edition is in the public domain. Picture of Jacob Viner courtesy of the University of Chicago Department of Economics.
About this Book

The development of statistical data and technique, and the marked tendency toward the broadening of the scope of economic inquiry, have again made the problem of economic method an appropriate theme for discussion. This discussion cannot be left entirely to the logician, partly because he shows little interest in it and partly because there are many phases of it on which the economist can best throw light. There is a tendency among economists to fear overmuch for the integrity of their science and to try to maintain its borders intact by carefully avoiding encroachment on the fields of other sciences. Specialization has its advantages, as the economist has good occasion to know, but unorganized specialization means confusion instead of co-operation. If any body of scientists fail to adapt the subject matter of their particular science to the needs of other sciences, each of the other sciences must appropriate from it such of its data as it needs for its own purposes, and even, if necessary, retain for itself the right of judgment on disputes within that science which have bearing on its own problems. And in no other of its border-line problems does political economy so urgently require a recasting and reanalysis of its principles as in the problems of logical method in political economy.... [From the text]