In 1932 Robbins set out to inquire about that which defines the subject matter of economic analysis: what economists can and cannot say and the method by which they can reach their conclusions. But this was far more a complex struggle than ‘merely’ to identify the methodology of economic analysis. At that time, he also had to cross swords with other approaches concerning the delineation of the subject of economics. On the one hand, he had to fend off historicism or the claim that social phenomena cannot be subdivided into separate spheres of examination. On the other hand, he also had to position himself vis-à-vis the empirical drive emanating from institutional economics of the time
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