How does One Study Social Science

  • Mykhailo Nykyforak Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University


Joseph Alois Schumpeter worked at Chernivtsi city for almost two academic years (1909-1911). During this time, he wrote one of his major works, The Theory of Economic Development, a series of articles that were important for his subsequent economic, sociological and political science research. So, regarding his famous work “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” (1942) he spoke out that his ideas were founded back in 1910-1911 during discussions of lectures about the state and society. On the basis of university lectures Schumpeter's brochure “How does one study social science” was prepared and published. Social science, it says, is a doctrine of social events, the science of what unites the state and society, determines the behaviour and fate of social groups and individuals, in short, the science of social being and the formation of human. Schumpeter emphasizes that there is no single social science. There are only separate social sciences, which neither form a single organic whole nor agree with each other at all.

Schumpeter believed that political economy was the oldest and better developed social science. Further, the brochure highlights sociology (the doctrine of the relationship between individuals and groups of individuals in the social whole), the doctrine of religion, the doctrine of law, folk psychology.

Describing the essence of the social sciences, Schumpeter noticed that they were doing the same thing as the natural ones. They collect factual material and try to find certain patterns in it. The study of social sciences, according to Schumpeter, can contribute to seeing things in the right proportion, distinguishing the essential from the non-essential, and the causes from the consequences.

Keywords: social science; the essence of social science; sociology; the doctrine of law; the value of the social sciences; the study of the social sciences

Author Biography

Mykhailo Nykyforak, Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University

Schumpeter, Joseph Author 

Translated from German by H. A. Labovkina (Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi

National University, Ukraine)

Scientific edition of the translation and abstract by M. V. Nykyforak (Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi

National University, Ukraine)


Schumpeter, J.A. (1910, 1915). Wie studiert man Sozialwissenschaft? Schriften des sozialwissenschaftlichen akademischen Vereins in Czernowitz, 2, 5-44; 2nd edn. 1915; reprinted as pp. 555-565 of J. A. Schumpeter. Aufsatze zur okonomischen Theorie.
How to Cite
NYKYFORAK, Mykhailo. How does One Study Social Science. Ehrlich's Journal - Ерліхівський журнал, [S.l.], v. 3, p. 62-71, june 2019. ISSN 2617-975X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 sep. 2023. doi:
Modern translations of the papers of Chernivtsi University Famous Scho