STEM Lessons for College Students

Cartesian, Newtonian, and Prigoginean vs Gibbsian socioeconomics

A four video compilation of physics-based socioeconomic reductionism, starting with Cartesian reductionism:

“I have described this earth, and the whole visible world in general, as if it were a machine in the shape and movements of its parts … for example, when a clock marks the hours by means of the wheels of which it is made, it is no less natural for it to do so than it is for a tree to produce its fruits.”
— Rene Descartes (1637), Discourse on Method

Then going to Newtonian, Prigoginean, and Gibbsian methods of reductionism in socioeconomics. Videos used:

Mindwalk (1990):
on Cartesian-based socioeconomic political philosophy, based on Fritjof Capra’s 1982 book Turning Point .

Libb Thims (2013):
on Newtonian vs Gibbsian socioeconomics

Mircea Gligor (2013):
on Prigoginean socioeconomics

Libb Thims (2014):
on Jurgen Mimkes version of Gibbsian socioeconomics

made to give a comparison of the four main historical paradigms of physics-based socioeconomic modeling. Further reading on Newtonian sociology (e.g. Peter Fong), Newtonian-based political government theory (e.g. James Madison), and Cartesian economics (e.g. Frederick Soddy) are found here:

The historical roots to Gibbsian socioeconomics originated in efforts of Lawrence Henderson who in in his 1917 The Order of Nature, began to outline Gibbsian-based Darwinian evolution theory, then in the 1930s expanded on this in his Sociology 23 course and Harvard Pareto circle:

who, in turn, spurred Gibbs’ protégé Edwin Wilson, in the 1930s, to teach a steam engine, physical chemistry, and thermodynamics based course called Mathematical Economics:

and who, in 1938, told economist Paul Samuelson to use Gibbs equation #133:

U – TS + PV – M1m1 – M2m2 … – Mnmn

to formulate a theory of economic stability.

The following quote gives a well-said summary of the thinking method transition involved in going from 19th century Cartesian-Newtonian “mechanical” reductionism to 20th century Prigogine-Gibbsian “thermal” reductionism:

“When we move from the [socio-] mechanical to the [socio-] thermal phenomena of energy, we rise from the atomic ‘billiard ball’ interaction to the molecular ‘chemistry set’ reactions. Unlike the former, the latter do not consider relations simply on the basis of mass, distance, and velocity, but rather temperature, pressure, and volume. The importance of a particular position is therefore, replaced by that of a substantive composition. The physical motion of bodies is replaced by the chemical reactions of compounds [sociomasses].”
— Paris Arnopoulos (1993), Sociophysics

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