Ludwig von Mises
The Task and Scope of
the Science of Human Action
I. The Nature and Development of the Social Sciences
3. The Program of Sociology and
the Quest for Historical Laws
These prophets of a new epoch, who professed to have developed for the first time a science of the social realm, not only failed in this domain, which they had declared to be the proper field of their activity, but unhesitatingly set out to destroy history and all the sciences that make use of the historical method. Prepossessed by the idea that Newtonian mechanics constitutes the model for all the genuine sciences, they demanded of history that it at last begin to raise itself to the status of an exact science through the construction of "historical laws."
Windelband, Rickert, and their school opposed these demands and brought into clear relief the special and peculiar characteristics of historical investigation. Nevertheless, their arguments are weakened by their failure to conceive of the possibility of universally valid knowledge in the sphere of human action. In their view the domain of social science comprises only history and the historical method . They regarded the findings of economics and historical investigation in the same light as the Historical School. Thus, they remained bound to historicism. Moreover, they did not see that an intellectual outlook corresponding to the empiricism that they had attacked in the field of the sciences of human action often went hand in hand with historicism.
 Cf. below p. 74.