The Dispute on Method

As one of the archetypal disputes in the social sciences, the famous “Methodenstreit” (the dispute on method) in German economics which unfolded during the 1880s has received substantial attention from multiple angles over the past 150 years. The main opponents in this historic debate were Carl Menger (1840–1921) and Gustav Schmoller (1838–1917). In a nutshell, Menger tried to demonstrate that theory was not susceptible to inductive elaboration, and Schmoller disagreed. In order to facilitate an international scholarly debate on this highly important dispute, the NOUS network has undertaken a crowd translation project together with its Young Affiliates. In this manner, Menger’s 1884 book “Die Irrthümer des Historismus in der deutschen Nationalökonomie” (The Errors of Historicism in German Economics) could for the first time be published in English at EconJournalWatch. The project has subsequently been focussing on the translation of Schmoller’s 1884 critical review of Menger’s book, to be published in the peer-reviewed “Journal of Contextual Economics – Schmollers Jahrbuch”. (2019 ff.)