Can the 'grand theory' return to economics? Notes on the theoretical history of the system paradigm
The study starts from János Kornai's concept of a system paradigm and the list of economists there to lift certain elements from its antecedents in intellectual history. The sociological writers of the 1960s thought it was inopportune to create a grand theory, while the social scientists of the 1980s were busy celebrating the return of the great traditional system-creating process and its mode of narration. Adam Smith presented his economics as part of a comprehensive theory of social organization that would cover the principles and history of law, politics and morality. This is illustrated by his analysis of the paradox of commercial society and his demonstration of how wealth led to the restoration of liberty and the establishment of regular governance. Marx and the German historical school both strove to identify laws of the historical development of society, although they each rejected the other elements of the other's concept. Schumpeter's oeuvre was marked by an effort to combine theoretical analysis with historical description, so that from an analysis of economic development he could arrive at a theory presenting the interdependence of the various areas of social activity.
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