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The legacy of Max Weber and the early Austrians

Stefan Kolev ()

The Review of Austrian Economics, 2020, vol. 33, issue 1, No 3, 33-54

Abstract: Abstract This paper explores Max Weber’s intellectual relationship to the first generations of the Austrian School. Challenging his portrayal as a one-sided historicist, the paper reconstructs Weber’s intense involvement with the Viennese economists from the 1890s to his passing in 1920 and his efforts to overcome the fronts left behind by the Methodenstreit. Section 2 discusses a number of necessary conditions for declaring a scholarly community a “school”. Section 3 systematizes the multiple biographical connections, especially Weber’s nexus to Friedrich von Wieser and Joseph Schumpeter. Section 4 focuses on the research program of Social Economics during the first decades of the twentieth century as the “irenic formula” for the post-Methodenstreit hostilities. Within Social Economics, economic sociology constitutes an “intermediary” layer between economic theory and economic history, addressing the institutional properties of the framework surrounding the processes of human action and exchange. Depending on the relative importance and qualifying power of economic sociology vis-à-vis economic theory, the paper distinguishes two varieties of Social Economics, a “universalist” and an “institutionalist” one.

Keywords: Max Weber; Joseph Schumpeter; Schools in economic thought; Methodenstreit; Social economics; Economic sociology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B13 B15 B53 P16 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11138-019-00445-0

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Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:33:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s11138-019-00445-0