How does one study social science?

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Suggested Further Readings

  1. Allen, Robert Loring. Opening Doors: The Life and Work of Joseph Schumpeter, two volumes. New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction, 1991.

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  2. Schumpeter, Joseph A. Vergangenheit und Zukunft der Sozialwissenschaften. Munich and Leipzig, 1915.

  3. Schumpeter, Joseph A. The Economics and Sociology of Capitalism, ed. Richard Swedberg. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.

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Introductory Note: The affinities between Schumpeter and Max Weber are evident in this lecture, parts of which present the arguments of Weber’s famous essay “‘Objectivity’ in Social Science and Social Policy” (1904) in a more accessible form. But that only begins to suggest its interest. Written almost a century ago for an audience of non-professionals, this essay still provides an acute and remarkably contemporary introduction to students beginning to embark on a course of social scientific study. In editing it, I have retained Schumpeter’s broader reflections, eliminating his dated recommendations for particular books to consult on various social-scientific disciplines. First delivered as a lecture in 1910, the essay was published under the title Wie studiert man Sozialwissenschaft? (Czernowitz, 1910), then in an expanded second edition (Leipzig, 1915), and was reprinted in Joseph A. Schumpeter, Aufsätze zur ökonomischen Theorie ed. E. Schneider and S. Spiethoff (Tübingen, 1952). It is here translated into English for the first time. Jerry Z. Muller

Jerry Z. Muller is professor of history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and author; most recently, of The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Modern European Thought.

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Schumpeter, J.A. How does one study social science?. Soc 40, 57–63 (2003).

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