Skip to main content

T. E. Cliffe Leslie and the English Methodenstreit


This article is part of a wider historical research program in which I seek to examine the origins of past methodological debates. It is my opinion that economists ignore methodological and philosophical issues until either the doctrinal conclusions of the school to which they belong are challenged or they themselves contest the doctrinal conclusions of an alternative school. Once this occurs, economists select, reinterpret or construct methodological precepts in order to gain the maximum support for their position. Under this hypothesis the formation and articulation of methodological beliefs are largely endogenous to matters relating to economics; that is, the traditional causal process of methodology to theory to policy is turned on its head and becomes policy to theory to methodology. The aim of what follows is to illustrate this research program by examining the methodological framework expounded by T. E. Cliffe Leslie in the early stages of the English economic Methodenstreit or “battle of methods.”

Hide All
Adelman P. 1971. “Frederic Harrison and the ‘Positivist’ Attack on Orthodox Political Economy,History of Political Economy, 3, 170–89.
Agassi J. 1963. Towards an Historiography of Science; reprint, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, 1967.
Black R. D. C. 19721981. Papers and Correspondence of William Stanley Jevons, 7 vols., Macmillan, London.
Burrow J. W. 1966. Evolution and Society, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1970.
Coats A. W. 1954. “The Historicist Reaction to English Political Economy,Economica, n.s., 21, 143–53.
Ellis R. L. 1857. Preface to Spedding J., Heath D. D. and Ellis R. L., eds., The Works of Francis Bacon, 14 , Longman and Co., London.
Feaver G. 1969. From Status to Contract, Longmans, London.
Gras N. S. B. 1930. “Stages of Economic History,Journal of Economics and Business History, 2, 395418.
Grossman H. 1943. “The Evolutionist Revolt Against Classical Economics, Parts I and II,Journal of Political Economy, 51, 381–96, 502–22.
Hollander S. 1985. The Economics of John Stuart Mill, 2 vols., Blackwell, Oxford.
Hoselitz B. F. 1965. “Theories of Stages of Economic Growth,” in Hoselitz B. F., ed., Theories of Economic Growth, Free Press, New York, 193238.
Jevons W. S. 1879. The Theory of Political Economy; 5th ed., Augustus M. Kelley, New York, 1965.
Jevons W. S. 1877. The Principles of Science, Dover Edition, New York, 1958.
Koot G. M. 1975. “T. E. Cliffe Leslie, Irish Social Reform, and the Origins of the English Historical School of Economics,History of Political Economy, 7, 312–36.
Koot G. M. 1980. “English Historical Economics and the Emergence of Economic History in England,History of Political Economy, 12, 173205.
Koot G. M. 1987. English Historical Economics, 1870–1926, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Lakatos I. 1971. History of Science and its Rational Reconstructions, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 8, Reidel, Holland.
Leslie T. E. C. 1862. “The Love of Money,” in Leslie 1888, 1–8.
Leslie T. E. C. 1863. “The Wealth of Nations and Slave Power,” in Leslie 1888, 9–20.
Leslie T. E. C. 1866. “Political Economy and Tenure of Land,” in Leslie 1870b, 117–32.
Leslie T. E. C. 1867. “Peasantry and Farms of Belgium, 1867,” in Leslie 1870b, 294–340.
Leslie T. E. C. 1868a. “Political Economy and Emigration,” in Leslie 1870b, 84–116.
Leslie T. E. C. 1868b. “Political Economy and the Rate of Wages,” in Leslie 1870b, 357–79.
Leslie T. E. C. 1870a. “The Political Economy of Adam Smith,” in Leslie 1888, 21–40.
Leslie T. E. C. 1870b. Land Systems and Industrial Economy of Ireland, England, & Continental Countries; reprint, Augustus M. Kelley, New York, 1968.
Leslie T. E. C. 1875. “Maine's Early History of Institutions,Fortnightly Review, March.
Leslie T. E. C. 1876. “On the Philosophical Method of Political Economy,” in Leslie 1888, 163–90.
Leslie T. E. C. 1879. Untitled review of the second edition of Jevons's W. S.Theory of Political Economy, in Black 19721981, 8, 157–62.
Leslie T. E. C. 1888. Essays in Political Economy; reprint, Augustus M. Kelley, New York, 1969.
Menger C. 1883. Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences with Special Reference to Economics, edited by Scheider L., translated by Nock F. C., New York University Press, New York, 1985.
Novack G. 1968. Empiricism and its Evolution: A Marxist View, Pathfinder, New York, 1986.
Pérez-Ramos A. 1988. Francis Bacon's Idea of Science and the Maker's Knowledge Tradition, Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Popper K. 1945. The Open Society and Its Enemies, 2 vols., Routledge, London, 1974.
Popper K. 1957. The Poverty of Historicism, Ark, London, 1986.
Popper K. 1960. “On Sources of Knowledge and Ignorance,” in Conjectures and Refutations; reprint, Routledge, London, 1989, 3–30.
Schumpeter J. A. 1954. History of Economic Analysis; reprint, Allen and Unwin, London, 1986.
Smith A. 1896. Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms, edited by Cannan E., Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Smellie K. B. 1928. “Sir Henry Maine,Economica, 8, 6494.
Unattributed. 1883. “Political and Economical Heterodoxy: Cliffe Leslie,Westminster Review, n.s., 64, 470500.
Urbach P. 1987. Francis Bacon's Philosophy of Science, Open Court, La Salle, Illinois.
Vickers B. 1992. “Francis Bacon and the Progress of Knowledge,Journal of the History of Ideas, 13, 495518.
Yeo R. 1985. “An Idol of the Market-Place: Baconianism in Nineteenth Century Britain,History of Science, 23, 251–98.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of the History of Economic Thought
  • ISSN: 1053-8372
  • EISSN: 1469-9656
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-history-of-economic-thought
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 38 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th January 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.