Universität Wien FIND

180163 VO A History of Economic Thought: Economic Theories and Methodological Positions (2020W)

Part I: the 19th and beginning 20 th century

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

due to the present CoVid 19 situation all meetings will be held online via moodle (big blue button)unless the situation improves dramatically

Thursday 01.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 08.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 15.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 22.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 29.10. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 05.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 12.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 19.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 26.11. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 03.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 10.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 17.12. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 07.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 14.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 21.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital
Thursday 28.01. 13:15 - 14:45 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Aims and Content
The aim of this course is to introduce students to the history of economic thought. Although historically oriented, this course is mainly analytical and discusses the development of economic ideas by analyzing problem situations, problems and proposed solutions as well as resulting controversies. However, this course also investigates methodological and epistemological positions since the attempt to find satisfactory solutions for open problems in economic theory frequently resulted in methodological debates such as discussions regarding the satisfactory structure of social science explanations. Diligent students will learn to make sense of and evaluate the historical background as well as the performance of theories, the main criticisms and later developments of those controversies which implicitly still cover much ground in temporary discussions.

Teaching consists of one unbroken 90-minute seminar; discussion of different text passages which students are invited to prepare on the basis of questions distributed in advance for every lecture.

Assessment and permitted materials

In order to complete that course students are required to discuss all questions in writing and hand them in by the end of the term. Also they are invited to contribute in a lively manner to discussions at all classes.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

In order to complete that course students are required to discuss all questions in writing and hand them in by the end of the term. Also they are invited to contribute in a lively manner to discussions at all classes. The quality of answers will be evaluated on the basis of completeness, clarity of argument, logical reasoning and precision. Answers have to be formulated in complete sentences and are not acceptable if stated in keywords only. Grades will be jointly determined in individual meetings, i.e. in oral digital examinations, (cf. below) on the basis the written answers handed in by the student.
In order to meet the present study rules, I am obliged to add the following supplement regarding examinations and grades.

Examinations regarding this lecture are oral examinations lasting ca 45 min. They have the digital format of a video chat by applying moodle. In order to participate in digital exams students have to be registered for this course and are required to register for exams in u:space. Dates of exams will be provided in due course.

By registering for and entering in that digital oral examination students accept the following requirements and rules:

(i) students are required to attend to this examination personally and without the support of others.

(ii) if present and required, persons of confidence have to be placed within the range of the camera; examiners are entitled to ask to pan the camera in order to survey the room occupied by the student and the person of confidence, especially in cases of suspected fraudulence.

(iii) students are required to show their student cards for proving their identity.

(iv) the usual rules apply regarding the number and requirements of entrances for examinations; examination dates regarding first, second, third and fourth entrances will differ.

Requirements and Evaluation

In order to pass this course successfully, students are obliged to hand in written answers to all questions distributed in due course. The number of questions is 30. The final oral examination will be based on five written answers handed in by the student and will be chosen by the examiner. Correct answers will be evaluated with 4 points. Grades are awarded on the following basis:

below 10 points: ‘negative’ (5)
10 to 11,99 points: ‘sufficient’ (4)
12 to 14,99 points: ‘satisfactory’ (3)
15 to 17,99 points: ‘good’ (2)
18 to 20 points: ‘excellent’ (1)

Examination topics

problems, problem situations and suggested solution discussed in the lecture.

Reading list

M. BLAUG, Economic Theory in Retrospect, Cambridge 1978 (und spätere Auflagen)
Karl R. Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Hutchinson, London 1959 (first English edition; later editions are published by Routledge); secs: 1 – 18; any edition can be read.
Karl R. Popper, The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge, Routledge, London 2011
Karl R. Popper, The Poverty of Historicism, Routledge Kegan & Paul, London 1957 (first English edition; later editions are published by Routledge) any edition can be read.
Selected chapters and supplementary readings will be announced in due course.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 11:26