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Encyclopedia > Thorsten Veblen

Thorstein Bunde Veblen (born Tosten Bunde Veblen July 30, 1857August 3, 1929) was a Norwegian-American sociologist and economist and a leader of the Efficiency Movement, most famous for his Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). He was also part of the Technical Alliance, created in 1918-19 by Howard Scott and which became the Technocratic movement. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Paul Samuelson, Nobel Prize in Economics winner. ... Sociology is the study of the social lives of humans, groups and societies. ... July 30 is the 211th day (212th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 154 days remaining. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... August 3 is the 215th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (216th in leap years), with 150 days remaining. ... 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Social interactions of people and their consequences are the subject of sociology studies. ... Paul Samuelson, Nobel Prize in Economics winner. ... The Efficiency Movement was a major dimension of the Progressive Era in the United States. ... The Theory of the Leisure Class is a book, first published in 1899, by the American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago. ... The Technical Alliance formed at the end of World War I was one of Americas first think tanks. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A sign on the outskirts of a Depression-era town proclaims regular Monday meetings of the local branch of Technocracy. ...

Contents

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Biography

Veblen was born in Cato, Wisconsin, of Norwegian immigrant parents; his nephew Oswald Veblen became a famous mathematician. He spoke only Norwegian at home and did not learn English until he was a teenager. Cato is a town located in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin. ... Oswald Veblen (24 June 1880 - 10 August 1960) was an American mathematician. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


He obtained his B.A. at Carleton College (1880), under John Bates Clark, a leading neoclassical economist, but rejected his ideas. Later he did his graduate work at Johns Hopkins University under Charles Sanders Peirce, the founder of the pragmatist school in philosophy, and Ph.D.(1884) at Yale University, under laissez-faire proponent William Graham Sumner. He repudiated their views as well. At Yale University, Veblen took Moral Philosophy as his Ph.D. major and wrote his doctoral thesis on Immanuel Kant. A Bachelor of Arts (B.A. or A.B., from the Latin Artium Baccalaureus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or program in the arts and/or sciences. ... Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton College Carleton College is an independent, non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The school was founded on November 14, 1866, by the Minnesota Conference of Congregational Churches as Northfield College. ... John Bates Clark John Bates Clark (January 26, 1847-March 21, 1938) was an American neo-classical economist. ... The Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876, is a private institution of higher learning located in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. ... Charles Sanders Peirce Charles Sanders Peirce (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American logician, philosopher, scientist, and mathematician. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... Yale redirects here. ... William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) was the leading American advocate of a free-trade industrial society, which is what he believed the socialists meant by capitalism. ... Yale redirects here. ... Ethics is a general term for what is often described as the science (study) of morality. In philosophy, ethical behavior is that which is good or right. ... Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. ... Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804), was a German philosopher from Königsberg in East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). ...


From 1891 to 1892, after six years of unemployment, Veblen continued studying as a graduate student, now in economics, at Cornell University under James Laurence Laughlin. Cornell redirects here. ... James Laurence Laughlin (April 2, 1850 - November 28, 1933) was a U.S. economist who helped to found the Federal Reserve System. ...


In 1892, he became a professor at the newly-opened University of Chicago, simultaneouly serving as managing editor of the Journal of Political Economy. In 1906, he received an appointment at Stanford University, which he left quickly due to scandal. In 1911, he went to the University of Missouri-Columbia, due at least in part to support from Horace Davenport, the head of the economics department. Veblen was not fond of Columbia, Missouri, but remained there through 1918. In 1919, Veblen, along with Charles Beard, James Harvey Robinson and John Dewey, helped found the New School for Social Research (known today as The New School). The University of Chicago is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. ... Stanford redirects here. ... The University of Missouri-Columbia (abbreviated UMC and nicknamed Mizzou) is an institution of higher learning located in Columbia, Missouri and is the main campus in the University of Missouri system. ... Nickname: College Town, USA Location in the state of Missouri Coordinates: Country United States State Missouri County Boone Mayor Darwin Hindman Area    - City 138. ... Charles Austin Beard (November 27, 1874 _ September 1, 1948) was an American historian, author with James Harvey Robinson of The Development of Modern Europe (1907). ... James Harvey Robinson (1863–1936) was an American historian. ... John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thought has been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ... The New School, previously known as New School University, is an institution of higher learning in New York City. ...

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The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899)

Veblen became well known through his book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), a satiric look at American society written while he taught at the University of Chicago. He coined the widely-used phrases "conspicuous consumption" and "pecuniary emulation". The Theory of the Leisure Class is a book, first published in 1899, by the American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago. ... 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which principally ridicules its subject (individuals, organizations, states) often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. ... The University of Chicago is a private university located principally in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. ... Conspicuous consumption is a term introduced by the American economist Thorstein Veblen, in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). ...


Thorstein Veblen's career began amidst the growth of the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and psychology. He argued that culture inevitably shaped economics and that no universal "human nature" could possibly explain the variety of norms and behaviors discovered by the new science of anthropology. Anthropology (from the Greek word , human or person) consists of the study of humanity (see genus Homo). ... Social interactions of people and their consequences are the subject of sociology studies. ... Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ...


An important analytical contribution became associated with Veblen: what became known as the "ceremonial / instrumental dichotomy". Veblen saw that although every society depends on tools and skills to support the "life process", every society also appeared to have a stratified structure of status ("invidious distinctions") that ran contrary to the imperatives of the "instrumental" (read: "technological") aspects of group life. This gave rise to the dichotomy: the "ceremonial" related to the past, supporting the tribal legends; the "instrumental" oriented itself toward the technological imperative to judge value by the ability to control future consequences. The "Veblenian dichotomy" formed a specialized variant of the "instrumental theory of value" of John Dewey, with whom Veblen would make contact briefly at The University of Chicago. John Dewey (October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer, whose thought has been greatly influential in the United States and around the world. ... The University of Chicago is a private co-educational university located in Chicago, Illinois. ...


The Theory of the Leisure Class and The Theory of Business Enterprise together constitute an alternative construction on the neoclassical marginalist theories of consumption and production, respectively. Both works clearly have their basis in the application of the "Veblenian dichotomy" to cultural patterns of behavior and therefore implicitly but unavoidably express a critical stance; one cannot read Veblen with any understanding while failing to grasp that the dichotomy is a valuational principle at its core. The ceremonial patterns of activity do not relate to just any past, but rather to the one that generated a specific set of advantages and prejudices that underlie the current structure of rewards and power. Instrumental judgments create benefits according to an entirely separate criterion, and therefore act inherently subversively. Clarence E. Ayres of the University of Texas at Austin developed this line of analysis more fully and explicitly from the 1920s. The Theory of the Leisure Class is a book, first published in 1899, by the American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago. ... The Theory of Business Enterprise is a book by Thorstein Veblen published in 1904. ... Neoclassical economics refers to a general approach (a metatheory) to economics based on supply and demand which depends on individuals (or any economic agent) operating rationally, each seeking to maximize their individual utility or profit by making choices based on available information. ... The University of Texas at Austin, often called UT or Texas, is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. ...


In addition to these two books, Veblen's monograph Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution and the essay entitled "Why Economics is not an Evolutionary Science" became influential in shaping the research agenda for following generations of social scientists, including the technocratic movement. A sign on the outskirts of a Depression-era town proclaims regular Monday meetings of the local branch of Technocracy. ...

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Primary sources

  • The Instinct of Workmanship and the Irksomeness of Labor, 1898
  • The Theory of the Leisure Class: an economic study of institutions, 1899
  • The Theory of Business Enterprise, 1904
  • The Instinct of Workmanship and the State of the Industrial Arts, 1914
  • Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution, 1915
  • An Inquiry into the Nature of Peace and the Terms of Its Perpetuation, 1917
  • The Higher Learning In America: A Memorandum On the Conduct of Universities By Business Men, 1918
  • The Vested Interests and The Common Man, 1919
  • The Engineers and the Price System, 1921
  • Absentee Ownership and Business Enterprise in Recent Times, 1923
  • The Laxdaela Saga, 1925
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The Theory of the Leisure Class is a book, first published in 1899, by the American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago. ... The Theory of Business Enterprise is a book by Thorstein Veblen published in 1904. ...

Secondary sources

  • Dorfman, Joseph. Thorstein Veblen and His America 1961.
  • Janet T. Knoedler; "Veblen and Technical Efficiency" in Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 31, 1997
  • Hodgson, G. "On the Evolution of Thorstein Veblen's Evolutionary Economics" in Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 22, Issue 4, pp. 415-431
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See also

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The Theory of the Leisure Class is a book, first published in 1899, by the American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago. ... A sign on the outskirts of a Depression-era town proclaims regular Monday meetings of the local branch of Technocracy. ... A commodity is a Veblen good if peoples preference for buying it increases as a direct function of its price. ...

External links

  • Works by Thorstein Veblen at Project Gutenberg
  • e-texts -- The Veblenite -- (Complete Works, as far as not copyright-protected, biography, bibliography and related materials)
  • Books and Translations [1]
  • Essays in Economics [2]
  • War Essays, Memoranda, Suggestions [3]
  • Miscellaneous Papers, Reviews [4]
  • facsimile An inquiry into the nature of peace and the terms of its perpetuation ...
    • Publisher: New York, B.W. Huebsch, 1919
  • facsimile The place of science in modern civilisation and other essays
    • Publisher: New York, B.W. Huebsch, 1919
  • facsimile The Vested Interests and the Common Man ("The modern point of view and the new order").
    • Publisher: New York, B.W. Huebsch, 1919
  • Othercanon: Biological Metaphor shift in Economics [5]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Santa Monica Mirror: In His Opinion: Veblen Revisited (488 words)
His term has become commonplace: “conspicuous consumption.” By leisure class, Veblen meant the upper class that convinces itself, and the rest of society, of its superiority by a display of obviously expensive and wasteful – or even useless – objects that are meant to impress.
Veblen’s assumption that “The accumulation of wealth at the upper end of the pecuniary scale implies privation at the lower end of the scale” is one assumption some believe need not be ironclad.
Had Veblen witnessed the recent election in which many poor people voted for a party that gives no evidence of caring a whit for their economic fate, he would surely have scratched his head in amazement.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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