Tag Archives: Thomas Carlyle

Joseph Schumpeter

A leader of still another type might be mentioned here, Carlyle. For economists he is one of the most important and most characteristic figures in the cultural panorama of that epoch—standing in heroic pose, hurling scorn at the materialistic littleness of his age, cracking a whip with which to flay, among other things, our Dismal Science. This is how he saw himself and how his time saw and loved to see him. Completely incapable of understanding the meaning of a theorem, overlooking the fact that all science is ‘dismal’ to the artist, he thought he had got hold of the right boy to whip. A large part of the public applauded, and so did some economists who understood no more than he did what a ‘science’ is and does.

Joseph Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, London, 1954, pp. 386-387