Extracts from The Poverty of Historicism

Thanks to the Questia on-line library, where text can be easily cut and pasted (unlike Google books) some sections of The Poverty can be found here. The sections are on the practical aims of the critique of historicism, the technological or engineering approach to reform (a la Mises, not holisistic or collectivist), the unity of methods in the natural and human sciences, the difference between theoretical and historical studies, situational analysis and the institutional approach to progress.

It is most unfortunate that so much time has been wasted by economists and social scientists in criticism of Popper’s  “falsificationism” instead of reading The Poverty to find out what he had to say specifically about the human sciences. His comments on the approach to the evolution and influence of institutions should have prompted people to pursue the kind of work that eventually earned Douglas North a Nobel Prize.

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