On Schools of Thought in the Sciences

Joseph Schumpeter:

A man expressing his political will and the same man expressing a theory in the lecture hall are two different people . . . Especially in my case, ladies and gentleman, because I never wish to conclude. If I have a function, then it is not to close, but rather to open doors, and I never felt the urge to create something like [my own] school [of thought] . . . Quite a few people are upset about this point of view, because there are [many] who feel they are the leaders of such schools, who feel like fighters for total light against total darkness. That gets expressed in the harsh criticisms that one school levies against the other. But it doesn’t make any sense to fight about these things. One shouldn’t fight about things that life is going to eliminate anyhow at some point. In science momentary success is not as important as it is in the economy and in politics. We can only say that if something prevails in science, it has proven its right to exist; and if it isn’t worth anything, then it’s going to die anyway. I for myself completely accept the verdict of coming generations.


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