This article deals with the analysis of the key approaches to the study of the logic of the economic theory development. The nature of popularity of internalist interpretations of economic thought development is revealed. Authors think that the main explanation of mainstream’s skepticism towards the idea that externalist factors play a crucial role in the modification of economic thought is a radical positivistic mood which is prevalent in today’s mainstream. Authors believe that one of the most negative consequences of denying the impact of the economic environment on economics is the belief in the timeless and universal character of the economic laws, which entails the mainstream’s loss of touch with reality. The main aim of the article is the identification of the economic crises impact on the development of economic thought. Having employed “general purpose technology” and “innovation pause” concepts, authors came to the conclusion that there is a certain parallel between the processes of technological paradigms replacement, economic crises and changes in the economic doctrines. Authors think that socio-economic upheavals have a double function. On the one hand, crises help to relieve the economic thought from once popular but having become dysfunctional in the new economic realities concepts. On the other hand — crises enrich the theory with new solutions and ideas, as well as accelerate the perception of the new economic ideas, which often look negligible in the pre-crisis era.