• Günther ChaloupekEmail author
  • Hans A. Frambach
Part of the The European Heritage in Economics and the Social Sciences book series (EHES, volume 23)


The emergence of economics as a social science, which was substantially influenced by the emancipation of thinking about economic phenomena from medieval theology, is part of the emergence of a rationalist world view with its understanding of natural phenomena in terms of cause and effect, instead of purpose inherent in the substance of things. Central to the new world view is the concept of law as a force independent of human intention applicable to external physical nature and to human nature. In the spirit of the Baconian sentence scientia est potentia, knowledge of such laws brings with it the power to influence the course of events according to desired goals.


Emergence of modern economic thought Enlightenment Natural law Rationalism Mercantilism 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Former Director, Department of Economic ResearchAustrian Chamber of LabourViennaAustria
  2. 2.Universität WuppertalWuppertalGermany

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