Econometricians have from the start considered historical knowledge of their own discipline as reflexive knowledge useful for delineating their discipline, that is, for setting its disciplinary boundaries with respect to its aims, its methods, and its scientific values. As such, the histories written by econometricians reflect the scientific image of their discipline in a given period. Each image of a period is drawn by denominating forerunners and founding fathers and uses the language of the dominant philosophy of science of that day.
At the end of the nineteenth century, a scientific theory had to be mathematical; in the interbellum the image of science was that of logical positivism. In the 1970s and 1980s the dominant views were those of Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos, and Thomas Kuhn. Currently the scientific image in econometrics is the one of the Stanford school (Nancy Cartwright, Ian Hacking, and Patrick Suppes).
We would like to thank the participants of the HOPE 2010 conference for their contributions and comments; see footnote 7 for their names. We also would like to thank Duo Qin for her many valuable comments, and Marcel would like to thank Mary Morgan in particular for numerous conversations. We also would like to thank Alain Pirotte and the external referees for their excellent reports.