Marshall and Schumpeter on Evolution

Marshall and Schumpeter on Evolution

Economic Sociology of Capitalist Development

Edited by Yuichi Shionoya and Tamotsu Nishizawa

This unique and original work contends that, despite the differences between Marshallian and Schumpeterian thinking, they both present formidable challenges to a broad type of social science beyond economics, particularly under the influence of the German historical school. In a departure from the received view on the nature of the works of Marshall and Schumpeter, the contributors explore their themes in terms of an evolutionary vision and method of evolution; social science and evolution; conceptions of evolution; and evolution and capitalism.

Chapter 1: Schumpeter and Evolution: An Ontological Exploration

Yuichi Shionoya

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, evolutionary economics, history of economic thought


Yuichi Shionoya 1.1 INTRODUCTION Schumpeter introduced the ideas of innovation, development and evolution in his Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (1912). In the final chapter (chapter 7) on the ‘Overall view of the economy’ (Das Gesamtbild der Volkswirtschaft), he located the economy in the wider context of social life and attempted to provide a comprehensive vision of the evolution of society as a whole, which was to be addressed by a universal social science, covering such areas as the economy, politics, social relations, the arts, science and morality. His argument in this chapter offers an important viewpoint on a comprehensive grasp of social phenomena, applying the static–dynamic dichotomy of human beings to all these areas and gaining a picture of the overall evolution of society through interactions between them.1 Recent works on evolutionary economics, sometimes labelled ‘neoSchumpeterian economics’, are largely confined to the studies of economic development and technological change. They seem to start from Schumpeter’s English version The Theory of Economic Development (1934), which is the abridged translation of the second German edition (1926) and does not include chapter 7 of the first edition. Compared with Schumpeter’s original view of sociocultural development, the current conception of evolution is narrow for two reasons: the lack of the sociological perspective and of the philosophical foundations (Shionoya, 2007). This chapter attempts a return to Schumpeter’s original view of the evolution of society as a whole and explores the ontological foundations of his conception of evolution. It is widely acknowledged that...

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