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Introduction: Viewpoints and Methods in the Economic History of Japan

  • Akira Hayami
Part of the Studies in Economic History book series (SEH)

Abstract

Taken literally, economic history is an academic discipline whose purpose is to seek out the developmental processes of economic phenomena occurring in everyday life within the bounds of history. Therefore, as a field, it can be said to reside in an intermediate area between economics and history. There is not much constructive meaning in stating which field a certain discipline belongs to, since fixating on such things leaves little prospect for disciplinary synthesis or new developments. However, in comparison to cases where its content is clearly based on expressions such as “theory” or “history” within economics, when it is evident that it is in an intermediate area from the onset, its character as a discipline is no longer simple. The methods of economic history clearly have economic and historical approaches; furthermore, these contain the differences in their worldview, historical view, and adopted methodology, and so on. Consequently, even works that equally claim to be “economic history” have an extremely broad range of methods and viewpoints. In the past as well, people who were called economic historians were in some cases economists and in some cases were scholars listed amongst the names of historians. In addition, it is by no means easy to distinguish “economy” from other social phenomena, as well as psychological factors, and in some cases, the very act of handling them separately is a mistake.

Keywords

Economic History Economic Principle Economic Phenomenon Intermediate Area Economic Society 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akira Hayami
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Japan AcademyTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Keio UniversityTokyoJapan

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