Universität Wien

180205 VO The Story of Economic Ideas: Economic Theories and Methodological Positions (2021W)

Part I, the 19th 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

The format is subjet to change. At the moment, we plan to hold all meetings online.

Wednesday 06.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 13.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 20.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 27.10. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 03.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 10.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 17.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 24.11. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 01.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 15.12. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 12.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 19.01. 16:45 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 26.01. 16:45 - 18:15 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

Final written exam (4 open questions, all of which have to be answered). If possible, exams will NOT be held online. No auxiliary materials allowed.
If it is not possible to hold examinations with physical presence, auxiliary materials will be allowed and questions will require more independent reasoning.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

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.

In order to meet the present study rules, I am obliged to add the following supplement regarding examinations and grades.

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 show their student cards for proving their identity.

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

(iii) By registering for this course/seminar, you tacitly agree to having all your electronic submissions checked by Turnitin.

Requirements and Evaluation
The final written examination will be based on four written answers. Correct answers will be evaluated with 5 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: Sa 08.07.2023 00:17