Historiography - 29. Historiography Matthias Klaes Subject...

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29. Historiography Matthias Klaes Subject Economics » History of Thought DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631225737.2003.00034.x 29.1 Introduction The term “historiography,” literally “the writing of history,” carries two distinct meanings. On the one hand, it refers to historical accounts of the past, in contrast to the past itself. On the other hand, the term is used in a meta-theoretical sense as the reflection on how historians account for the past. Historiography in this second sense has two aspects. It may refer either to the particular historical methods employed by the historian, or to a broader reflection on the methodology underlying her historical research. According to the broader interpretation, historiography is to the practice of the history of economics what the methodology of economics is to the practice of economics. An additional complexity arises because both history and methodology of economics are meta-discourses (cf., Emmett, 1997 ) in respect to the discipline of economics, which increasingly draw upon one another. For the remainder of this contribution, the term “historiography” will be used to refer to the methodology, as opposed to the methods, of historical research. Finally, the relevance of historiography as a meta-theoretical reflection on the methodology of historical research in economics is of course not restricted to disciplinary history of economics but is equally relevant to economic history as the history of the economy, although this dimension will not be further explored here. Among the various ways in which one could discuss historiographic issues in the history of economics, two seem to suggest themselves in particular. One could provide a comparative overview of different historiographies that are currently employed or hotly debated in the history of economics. Alternatively, one could embark on a historical account of the development of the various approaches. The first perspective is much better served by the present volume as a whole than by any single work of survey. The second, further discussed below, suffers the handicap that so far at least, it refers to largely uncharted territory. This chapter therefore follows a different strategy, approaching historiographic reflection in the history of economics in the context of selected wider debates in general history, philosophy, and the history of science. The ambition is not to aspire to comprehensive coverage of these debates, but to eclectically concentrate instead on a selection of themes that resonate with important recent historiographic developments in the history of economics. In what follows, the reader should also be warned that for the most part, historiography is discussed on the basis of the Anglo-American literature, notwithstanding the rich and longstanding historiographic traditions of continental Europe, for example.
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2010 for the course ECONOMICS 321 taught by Professor H during the Spring '10 term at Kadir Has Üniversitesi.

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Historiography - 29. Historiography Matthias Klaes Subject...

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