Reflection and Reconstruction of the Disciplinary Functions of Economic History
Social Sciences in China Review
Reflection and Reconstruction of the Disciplinary Functions of Economic History (Abstract)
Yi Mianyang and Zhao Dexin
Any independent discipline has its own unique functions. Economic history forms its own disciplinary functions after deeply integrating the functions of history and economics: seeking truth, finding answers, and being practical. Seeking truth is a true recurrence of past economic practices. Finding answers is to analyze the causes of economic phenomena in economic practices, explore economic laws, explore the economic operation mechanism and its performance in history, and explain the major problems in economic history. Being practical is based on reality. The three functions are inseparable. “Seeking truth” is the basis; “finding answers” is the sublimation of the truth-eeking that explains the relationships, laws, and mechanisms in historical truth; and “being practical” puts historical truth and laws into practice as an application of the former two. A study of economic history can focus on one of the functions, but at the same time it needs to take into account the other two aspects. A critical understanding of the functions of economic history contributes to the basic theoretical construction of the discipline, also deepening its empirical research.