The English historical school of economics, although not nearly as famous as its German counterpart, sought a return of inductive methods in economics, following the triumph of the deductive approach of David Ricardo in the early 19th century.  The school considered itself the intellectual heirs of past figures who had emphasized empiricism and induction, such as Francis Bacon and Adam Smith.   Included in this school are William Whewell, Richard Jones, Thomas Edward Cliffe Leslie, Walter Bagehot, Thorold Rogers, Arnold Toynbee, William Cunningham, and William Ashley. 
The economists of the English historical school were in general agreement on several ideas. They pursued an inductive approach to economics rather than the deductive approach taken by classical and neoclassical theorists. They recognized the need for careful statistical research. They rejected the hypothesis of "the profit maximizing individual" or the "calculus of pleasure and pain" as the only basis for economic analysis and policy. They believed that it was more reasonable to base analysis on the collective whole of altruistic individuals.  Historical economists of the nineteenth century also rejected the view that economic policy prescriptions, however derived, would apply universally, without regard to place or time, as followers of the Ricardian and Marshallian schools did.
Alfred Marshall acknowledged the force of the historical school's views in his 1890 synthesis:
[T]he explanation of the past and the prediction of the future are not different operations, but the same worked in opposite directions, the one from effect to cause, the other from cause to effect. As Schmoller well says, to obtain "a knowledge of individual causes" we need "induction; the final conclusion of which is indeed nothing but the inversion of the Syllogism which is employed in deduction.... Induction and deduction rest on the same tendencies, the same beliefs, the same needs of our reason." 
John Stuart Mill, Auguste Comte, and Herbert Spencer appear among the influences on the English historical economists. The second half of Queen Victoria's reign saw the triumph of evolutionary concepts in the sciences (geology, biology, and sociology) and a transition from a "coal and iron" based manufacturing  economy to one based on communication, urbanization, finance, and empire. The rise of the historical school of jurisprudence provided "allies in the struggle against the dominance of the abstract theory."  Historical economists viewed classical and neoclassical economics as too formal and as a rationalization of free-trade policies  in a colonial and imperial setting.
The Austrian School is a heterodox school of economic thought that advocates strict adherence to methodological individualism, the concept that social phenomena result exclusively from the motivations and actions of individuals. Austrian school theorists hold that economic theory should be exclusively derived from basic principles of human action.
Neoclassical economics is an approach to economics in which the production, consumption and valuation (pricing) of goods and services are observed as driven by the supply and demand model. According to this line of thought, the value of a good or service is determined through a hypothetical maximization of utility by income-constrained individuals and of profits by firms facing production costs and employing available information and factors of production. This approach has often been justified by appealing to rational choice theory, a theory that has come under considerable question in recent years.
Alfred Marshall was an English economist, and was one of the most influential economists of his time. His book Principles of Economics (1890) was the dominant economic textbook in England for many years. It brought the ideas of supply and demand, marginal utility, and costs of production into a coherent whole. He is known as one of the founders of neoclassical economics.
Deductive reasoning is the mental process of drawing deductive inferences. An inference is deductively valid if its conclusion follows logically from its premises, i.e. if it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion to be false. For example, the inference from the premises "all men are mortal" and "Socrates is a man" to the conclusion "Socrates is mortal" is deductively valid. An argument is sound if it is valid and all its premises are true. Some theorists define deduction in terms of the intentions of the author: they have to intend for the premises to offer deductive support to the conclusion. With the help of this modification, it is possible to distinguish valid from invalid deductive reasoning: it is invalid if the author's belief about the deductive support is false, but even invalid deductive reasoning is a form of deductive reasoning.
First formulated by David Hume, the problem of induction questions our reasons for believing that the future will resemble the past, or more broadly it questions predictions about unobserved things based on previous observations. This inference from the observed to the unobserved is known as "inductive inferences", and Hume, while acknowledging that everyone does and must make such inferences, argued that there is no non-circular way to justify them, thereby undermining one of the Enlightenment pillars of rationality.
William Stanley Jevons was an English economist and logician.
The historical school of economics was an approach to academic economics and to public administration that emerged in the 19th century in Germany, and held sway there until well into the 20th century. The professors involved compiled massive economic histories of Germany and Europe. Numerous Americans were their students. The school was opposed by theoretical economists. Prominent leaders included Gustav von Schmoller (1838–1917), and Max Weber (1864–1920) in Germany, and Joseph Schumpeter (1883–1950) in Austria and the United States.
Classical economics, classical political economy, or Smithian economics is a school of thought in political economy that flourished, primarily in Britain, in the late 18th and early-to-mid 19th century. Its main thinkers are held to be Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say, David Ricardo, Thomas Robert Malthus, and John Stuart Mill. These economists produced a theory of market economies as largely self-regulating systems, governed by natural laws of production and exchange.
Gustav FriedrichSchmoller was the leader of the "younger" German historical school of economics.
Thomas Edward Cliffe Leslie was an Irish jurist and economist. He was professor of jurisprudence and political economy in Queen's College, Belfast, noted for challenging the Wages-Fund doctrine and for addressing contemporary agrarian policy questions. A critic of Ricardian orthodoxy, he said that it had sidelined consumer behaviour and demand. He developed the idea of consumer sovereignty, but insisted that the analysis of demand should be based on historical and comparative institutional work.
Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which a general principle is derived from a body of observations. It consists of making broad generalizations based on specific observations. Inductive reasoning is distinct from deductive reasoning. If the premises are correct, the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain; in contrast, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.
James Edwin Thorold Rogers, known as Thorold Rogers, was an English economist, historian and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1880 to 1886. He deployed historical and statistical methods to analyse some of the key economic and social questions in Victorian England. As an advocate of free trade and social justice he distinguished himself from some others within the English Historical School.
Adolph Wagner was a German economist and politician, a leading Kathedersozialist and public finance scholar and advocate of agrarianism. Wagner's law of increasing state activity is named after him.
The welfare definition of economics is an attempt by Alfred Marshall, a pioneer of neoclassical economics, to redefine his field of study. This definition expands the field of economic science to a larger study of humanity. Specifically, Marshall's view is that economics studies all the actions that people take in order to achieve economic welfare. In the words of Marshall, "man earns money to get material welfare." Others since Marshall have described his remark as the "welfare definition" of economics. This definition enlarged the scope of economic science by emphasizing the study of wealth and humanity together, rather than wealth alone. In his widely read textbook, Principles of Economics, published in 1890, Marshall defines economics as follows:
Political Economy or Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business of life; it examines that part of individual and social action which is most closely connected with the attainment and with the use of material requisites of well-being.
Mainstream economics is the body of knowledge, theories, and models of economics, as taught by universities worldwide, that are generally accepted by economists as a basis for discussion. Also known as orthodox economics, it can be contrasted to heterodox economics, which encompasses various schools or approaches that are only accepted by a minority of economists.
Joseph Shield Nicholson, FBA, FRSE was an English economist.
The history of economic thought is the study of the philosophies of the different thinkers and theories in the subjects that later became political economy and economics, from the ancient world to the present day in the 21st century. This field encompasses many disparate schools of economic thought. Ancient Greek writers such as the philosopher Aristotle examined ideas about the art of wealth acquisition, and questioned whether property is best left in private or public hands. In the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas argued that it was a moral obligation of businesses to sell goods at a just price.
In the history of economic thought, a school of economic thought is a group of economic thinkers who share or shared a common perspective on the way economies work. While economists do not always fit into particular schools, particularly in modern times, classifying economists into schools of thought is common. Economic thought may be roughly divided into three phases: premodern, early modern and modern. Systematic economic theory has been developed mainly since the beginning of what is termed the modern era.
New classical macroeconomics, sometimes simply called new classical economics, is a school of thought in macroeconomics that builds its analysis entirely on a neoclassical framework. Specifically, it emphasizes the importance of rigorous foundations based on microeconomics, especially rational expectations.
The Land Tenure Reform Association (LTRA) was a British pressure group for land reform, founded by John Stuart Mill in 1868. The Association opposed primogeniture, and sought legal changes on entails. Its programme fell short of the nationalisation of land demanded by the contemporary Land and Labour League.