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29. Historiography

Matthias Klaes

Subject Economics » History of Thought

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631225737.2003.00034.x


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 ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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