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Encyclopedia > Kenneth E. Boulding
Kenneth E. Boulding
Kenneth E. Boulding

Kenneth Ewart Boulding (January 18, 1910 - March 18, 1993) was an economist, educator, peace activist, poet, religious mystic, devoted Quaker, systems scientist, and interdisciplinary philosopher. He was born in Liverpool, England, graduated from Oxford University, and granted United States citizenship in 1948. During the years 1949 to 1967, he was a faculty member of the University of Michigan. Boulding was a founder of numerous ongoing intellectual projects in economics and social science. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 18th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... is the 77th day of the year (78th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... Alan Greenspan, former chairman, United States Federal Reserve. ... The poor poet A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, or Friends, is a religious community founded in England in the 17th century. ... This article is about the city in England. ... The University of Oxford, located in the city of Oxford in England, is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. ... Year 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U of M, UM or simply Michigan) is a coeducational public research university in the state of Michigan, and one of the foremost universities in the United States. ... ‹ The template below is being considered for deletion. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ...

Contents

Biography

Boulding was president of numerous scholarly societies including the American Economic Association, the Society for General Systems Research, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was not only a prolific writer and a creative integrator of knowledge, but an academician of world stature -- indeed, a magisterial figure in the discipline of social science. For Boulding, economics and sociology were not social sciences -- rather, they were all aspects of a single social science devoted to the study of human persons and their relationships (organizations). Boulding spearheaded an evolutionary (instead of equilibrium) approach to economics. See Kenneth Boulding's Evolutionary Perspective. The American Economic Association, or AEA, is the oldest and most important professional organization in the field of economics. ... The International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS) is an organisation for interdisciplinary collaboration and synthesis of systems sciences. ... The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is an organization that promotes cooperation between scientists, defends scientific freedom, encourages scientific responsibility and supports scientific education for the betterment of all humanity. ... Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge) is an academic and applied discipline that studies society and human social interaction. ... Kenneth E. Bouldings evolutionary approach to economics, put forward most completely in his Ecodynamics (1978) and Evolutionary Economics (1981) had roots in his 1934 work on population theory and the age structure of capital as well as his Reconstruction (1950) with chapter titles like An Ecological Introduction and The...


Boulding, with his wife Elise, was an active member of the Religious Society of Friends or Quakers. He took part in Quaker gatherings, served on committees, and spoke to and about the Friends. The two were members of meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Boulder, Colorado. Interestingly, although he stuttered, when he ministered in a Friends meeting, he spoke clearly.

J. David Singer & Kenneth E. Boulding, 1990
J. David Singer & Kenneth E. Boulding, 1990

In March 1971, he even conducted a silent vigil at the headquarters of the American Friends Service Committee in Philadelphia to protest what he considered its distancing itself from Quakers. He penned the widely circulated "There is a Spirit," a series of sonnets he wrote in 1945 based on the last statement of the 17th century Quaker James Nayler. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... J. David Singer & Kenneth E. Boulding, 1990 J. David Singer is an American professor of political science. ... American Friends Service Committee logo The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Religious Society of Friends (Quaker) affiliated organization which works for social justice, peace and reconciliation, abolition of the death penalty, and human rights, and provides humanitarian relief. ... James Nayler (or Naylor) (1618–1660) was an English Quaker leader. ...


Boulding emphasized that human economic and other behavior is embedded in a larger interconnected system: To understand the results of our behavior, economic or otherwise, we must first research and develop a scientific understanding of the ecodynamics of the general system, the global society in which we live. Boulding believed that in the absence of a committed effort to the right kind of social science research and understanding, the human species might well be doomed to extinction. But he died optimistic, believing our evolutionary journey had just begun. Ecodynamics is a part of applied economics. ...


Work

Psychic capital

Psychic capital is a term first used by Boulding (1950). Capital is an accumulation of wealth, and with psychic capital, the accumulation is one of desirable mental states, which admittedly are highly transitory in nature. The mental states could be memories of pleasure, success, achievement, recognition, and the desire to add to psychic capital is likely to be a powerful motivating force. Exchanges involving increases or decreases of psychic capital are likely to occur at any time, either through decision or through the turn of events. [citation needed] Year 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Capital has a number of related meanings in economics, finance and accounting. ... For computer memory, see computer storage. ...


However, failure in a task could also lead to a depletion of psychic capital. An accumulation of negative memories of failures, disasters, atrocities, or perceived injustices and indignities (as either recipient or perpetrator) could be called negative psychic capital. Negative psychic capital can also be a powerful motivating factor, in the pursuit of satisfaction through revenge or a settling of scores. In either of its forms as positive or negative psychic capital, this package of collective memory is an essential link between collective memory and collective mental state.[citation needed] Fail and Phail redirect here. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Revenge (disambiguation). ... Collective memory is a term coined by Maurice Halbwachs, separating the notion from the individual memory. ...


The concept is somewhat more specific than social capital, which focuses on social networks rather than mental states. Social capital is a core concept in business, economics, organizational behaviour, political science, and sociology, defined as the advantage created by a persons location in a structure of relationships. ... — Not to be confused with social network services such as MySpace, etc. ...


Evolutionary Economics

Boulding was the founder of the evolutionary economics movement. In his “Economic Development as an Evolutionary System,” Boulding suggests a parallel between economic development and biological evolution.


“They, economics and evolution, are both examples of a larger process, which has been at work in this part of the universe for a very long time. This is the process of the development of structures of increasing complexity and improbability. The evolutionary process always operates through mutation and selection and has involved some distinction between the genotype which mutates and the phenotype which is selected. The process by which the genotype constructs the phenotype may be described as "organization". Economic development manifests itself largely in the production of commodities, that is, goods and services. It originates, however, in ideas, plans, and attitudes in the human mind. These are the genotypes in economic development. This whole process indeed can be described as a process in the growth of knowledge. What the economist calls "capital" is nothing more than human knowledge imposed on the material world. Knowledge and the growth of knowledge, therefore, is the essential key to economic development. Investment, financial systems and economic organizations and institutions are in a sense only the machinery by which a knowledge process is created and expressed.” -- Kenneth E. Boulding


Quotations

  • The World is a very complex system. It is easy to have too simple a view of it, and it is easy to do harm and to make things worse under the impulse to do good and make things better. [1]
  • Boulding's 1st Law: "Anything that exists is possible."
  • "Theories without facts may be barren, but facts without theories are meaningless."[2]
  • "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."
  • "Mathematics brought rigor to Economics. Unfortunately, it also brought mortis."
  • "Economists are like computers. They need to have facts punched into them."
  • "We make our tools, and then they shape us."
  • "Nothing fails like success because we don't learn from it. We learn only from failure."
  • "There is no such thing as economics, only social science applied to economic problems."
  • "On Behaviourism: That is considered wisdom, which describes the scratch and not the itch."

Publications

Boulding published some thirty books and hundreds of articles:


Books

  • 1941, Economic Analysis, Harper & Brothers.
  • 1945, The Economics of Peace, Prentice Hall.
  • 1945, There is a Spirit: The Nayler Sonnets, Fellowship Publications.
  • 1950, A Reconstruction of Economics, J. Wiley.
  • 1953, The Organizational Revolution: A Study in the Ethics of Economic Organization, Harper & Brothers.
  • 1956, The Image: Knowledge in Life and Society, University of Michigan Press.
  • 1958, The Skills of the Economist, Cleveland: Howard Allen.
  • 1958, Principles of Economic Policy, Prentice-Hall, 1958.
  • 1962, Conflict and Defence: A General Theory, Harper & Bros.
  • 1964, The Meaning of the Twentieth Century: the Great Transition, Harper & Row.
  • 1966 The Impact of the Social Sciences, Rutgers University Press
  • 1966, “The Economics of Knowledge and the Knowledge of Economics.” American Economic Review, 16 (May): 1-13
  • 1968, Beyond Economics: Essays on Society, Religion, and Ethics, (University of Michigan Press
  • 1969, “The Grants Economy,” Michigan Academician (Winter)[3]

1970s:

  • 1970, Economics as a Science, (McGraw-Hill, 1970).
  • 1970, A Primer on Social Dynamics: History as Dialectics and Development, (Free Press, 1970).
  • 1971, Economics, Colorado Associated University Press, 1971.
  • 1973, Political Economy, Colorado Associated University Press, 1973.
  • 1973, The Economy of Love and Fear: A Preface to Grants Economics, Wadsworth.
  • 1974, Toward a General Social Science, Colorado Associated University Press.
  • 1975, International Systems: Peace, Conflict Resolution, and Politics, Colorado Associated University Press.
  • 1975, Sonnets from the Interior Life, and Other Autobiographical Verse, Colorado Associated University Press.
  • 1978, Stable Peace, University of Texas Press.
  • 1978, Ecodynamics: A New Theory of Societal Evolution, Sage.

1980s - 1993:

  • 1980, Beasts, Ballads, and Bouldingisms: A Collection of Writings, Transaction Books.
  • 1981, Evolutionary Economics, Sage
  • 1981, A Preface to Grants Economics: The Economy of Love and Fear. New York: Praeger.
  • 1985, Toward the Twenty-First Century: Political Economy, Social Systems, and World Peace, Colorado Associated University Press.
  • 1985, Human Betterment, Sage.
  • 1985, The World as a Total System, Sage.
  • 1986, Mending the World: Quaker Insights on the Social Order, Pendle Hill Publications.
  • 1989, Three Faces of Power, Sage.
  • 1992, Towards a New Economics: Critical Essays on Ecology, Distribution, and Other Themes, Edward Elgar.
  • 1993, The Structure of a Modern Economy: the United States, 1929-89, Macmillan.

References

  1. ^ Boulding, Kenneth E., 1986, "Proceedings of the 7th Friends Association for Higher Education Conference, Malone College, 1986, p. 4, quoted in Debora Hammond, The Science of Synthesis, Colorado: University of Colorado Press, 2003.
  2. ^ Kenneth E. Boulding. Economic Analysis: Microeconomics. New York: Harper &Row. 1966. p.5.
  3. ^ Reprinted in Collected Papers of Kenneth Boulding: Vol. II: Economics. Ed. Fred R. Glahe. Boulder, CO: Colorado Associated University Press, 1971: 177-85.

Debora Hammond down the Green River in Canyonlands National Park Debora Hammond is an American systems theorist, working as an Associate Professor professor Interdisciplinary Studies of the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at the Sonoma State University. ...

See also

Spaceship Earth is a world view term usually expressing concern over the use of limited resources available on Earth. ... Holism in science, or Holistic science, is an approach to research that emphasizes the study of complex systems. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Kenneth Boulding
  • An overview of Boulding's major contributions by David Latzko
  • Boulding's 1966 essay The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth
  • http://www.colorado.edu/econ/Kenneth.Boulding
  • Whole Terrain link to Boulding's articles published in Whole Terrain

 
 

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