Economics is the social science that studies the production and consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents. Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, firms and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy and issues affecting it, including unemployment of resources, economic growth, the public policies that address these issues. See glossary of economics. Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing "what is", normative economics, advocating "what ought to be". Economic analysis can be applied throughout society, in business, health care, government. Economic analysis is sometimes applied to such diverse subjects as crime, the family, politics, social institutions, war and the environment; the discipline was renamed in the late 19th century due to Alfred Marshall, from "political economy" to "economics" as a shorter term for "economic science".
At that time, it became more open to rigorous thinking and made increased use of mathematics, which helped support efforts to have it accepted as a science and as a separate discipline outside of political science and other social sciences. There are a variety of modern definitions of economics. Scottish philosopher Adam Smith defined what was called political economy as "an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations", in particular as: a branch of the science of a statesman or legislator a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people... to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue for the publick services. Jean-Baptiste Say, distinguishing the subject from its public-policy uses, defines it as the science of production and consumption of wealth. On the satirical side, Thomas Carlyle coined "the dismal science" as an epithet for classical economics, in this context linked to the pessimistic analysis of Malthus. John Stuart Mill defines the subject in a social context as: The science which traces the laws of such of the phenomena of society as arise from the combined operations of mankind for the production of wealth, in so far as those phenomena are not modified by the pursuit of any other object.
Alfred Marshall provides a still cited definition in his textbook Principles of Economics that extends analysis beyond wealth and from the societal to the microeconomic level: Economics is a study of man in the ordinary business of life. It enquires how he uses it. Thus, it is on the one side, the study of wealth and on the other and more important side, a part of the study of man. Lionel Robbins developed implications of what has been termed "erhaps the most accepted current definition of the subject": Economics is a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses. Robbins describes the definition as not classificatory in "pick out certain kinds of behaviour" but rather analytical in "focus attention on a particular aspect of behaviour, the form imposed by the influence of scarcity." He affirmed that previous economists have centred their studies on the analysis of wealth: how wealth is created and consumed. But he said that economics can be used to study other things, such as war, that are outside its usual focus.
This is because war has as the goal winning it, generates both cost and benefits. If the war is not winnable or if the expected costs outweigh the benefits, the deciding actors may never go to war but rather explore other alternatives. We cannot define economics as the science that studies wealth, crime and any other field economic analysis can be applied to; some subsequent comments criticized the definition as overly broad in failing to limit its subject matter to analysis of markets. From the 1960s, such comments abated as the economic theory of maximizing behaviour and rational-choice modelling expanded the domain of the subject to areas treated in other fields. There are other criticisms as well, such as in scarcity not accounting for the macroeconomics of high unemployment. Gary Becker, a contributor to the expansion of economics into new areas, describes the approach he favours as "combin assumptions of maximizing behaviour, stable preferences, market equilibrium, used relentlessly and unflinchingly."
One commentary characterizes the remark as making economics an approach rather than a subject matter but with great specificity as to the "choice process and the type of social interaction that analysis involves." The same source reviews a range of definitions included in principles of economics textbooks and concludes that the lack of agreement need not affect the subject-matter that the texts treat. A
Harry Gordon Frankfurt is an American philosopher. He is professor emeritus of philosophy at Princeton University, where he taught from 1990 until 2002, taught at Yale University, Rockefeller University, Ohio State University. Frankfurt was born on May 1929, in Pennsylvania, he obtained his B. A. in 1949 and Ph. D. in 1954 from Johns Hopkins University. He is professor emeritus of philosophy at Princeton University and has taught at Yale University, Rockefeller University, Ohio State University, his major areas of interest include moral philosophy, philosophy of mind and action, 17th-century rationalism. His 1986 paper On Bullshit, a philosophical investigation of the concept of "bullshit", was republished as a book in 2005 and became a surprise bestseller, leading to media appearances such as Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. In 2006 he released a companion book, On Truth, which explores society's loss of appreciation for truth. Among philosophers, he was for a time best known for his interpretation of Descartes's rationalism.
His most influential work, has been on freedom of the will based on his concept of higher-order volitions and for developing what are known as "Frankfurt cases" or "Frankfurt counterexamples". Frankfurt is the leading living Humean compatibilist, developing Hume's view that to be free is to do what one wants to do. Frankfurt's version of compatibilism is the subject of a substantial literature by other philosophy professors. More he has written on love and caring, he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sciences. He has been a Visiting Fellow of Oxford University. Demons and Madmen: The Defense of Reason in Descartes's Meditations. Princeton University Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0691134161; the Importance of What We Care About: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge University Press. 1988. ISBN 978-0521336116. Necessity and Love. Cambridge University Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0521633956; the Reasons of Love. Princeton University Press. 2004. ISBN 978-0691126241. On Bullshit. Princeton University Press. 2005. ISBN 0-691-12294-6.
On Truth. Random House. 2006. ISBN 0-307-26422-X. Taking Ourselves Seriously & Getting It Right. Stanford University Press. 2006. ISBN 0-8047-5298-2. On Inequality. Princeton University Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0691167145.'The Necessity of Love' in Alex Voorhoeve Conversations on Ethics. Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-921537-9 American philosophy List of American philosophers Bischof, Michael H.. Kann ein Konzept der Willensfreiheit auf das Prinzip der alternativen Möglichkeiten verzichten? Harry G. Frankfurts Kritik am Prinzip der alternativen Möglichkeiten. In: Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, Heft 4. Frankfurt, Harry. "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility". In Reason & Responsibility: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy, edited by Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau, 486-492. California: Thomson Wadsworth, 2008. Princeton Faculty Listing 2007 Harry Frankfurt Video Feature Interview on The Alcove with Mark Molaro
Talcott Parsons was an American sociologist of the classical tradition, best known for his social action theory and structural functionalism. Parsons is considered one of the most influential figures in sociology in the 20th century. After earning a PhD in economics, he served on the faculty at Harvard University from 1927 to 1929. In 1930, he was among the first professors in its new sociology department. Based on empirical data, Parsons' social action theory was the first broad and generalizable theory of social systems developed in the United States and Europe; some of Parsons' largest contributions to sociology in the English-speaking world were his translations of Max Weber's work and his analyses of works by Weber, Émile Durkheim, Vilfredo Pareto. Their work influenced Parsons' view and was the foundation for his social action theory. Parsons viewed voluntaristic action through the lens of the cultural values and social structures that constrain choices and determine all social actions, as opposed to actions that are determined based on internal psychological processes.
Although Parsons is considered a structural functionalist, towards the end of his career, in 1975, he published an article that stated that "functional" and "structural functionalist" were inappropriate ways to describe the character of his theory. From the 1970s, a new generation of sociologists criticized Parsons' theories as conservative and his writings as unnecessarily complex. Sociology courses have placed less emphasis on his theories than at the peak of his popularity. However, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in his ideas. Parsons was a strong advocate for the professionalization of sociology and its expansion in American academia, he was elected president of the American Sociological Association in 1949 and served as its secretary from 1960 to 1965. He was born on December 1902, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he was the son of Mary Augusta Ingersoll. His father had attended Yale Divinity School, was ordained as a Congregationalist minister, served first as a minister for a pioneer community in Greeley, Colorado.
At the time of Parsons' birth, his father was a professor in English and vice-president at Colorado College. During his Congregational ministry in Greeley, Edward had become sympathetic to the Social Gospel movement but tended to view it from a higher theological position and was hostile to the ideology of socialism. Both he and Talcott would be familiar with the theology of Jonathan Edwards; the father would become the president of Marietta College in Ohio. Parsons' family is one of the oldest families in American history, his ancestors were some of the first to arrive from England in the first half of the 17th century. The family's heritage had two separate and independently-developed Parsons lines, both to the early days of American history deeper into British history. On his father's side, the family could be traced back to the Parsons of Maine. On his mother's side, the Ingersoll line was connected with Edwards and from Edwards on would be a new, independent Parsons line because Edwards' eldest daughter, married Elihu Parsons on June 11, 1750.
As an undergraduate, Parsons studied biology and philosophy at Amherst College and received his BA in 1924. Amherst College had become the Parsons' family college by tradition. Parsons was attracted to a career in medicine, as he was inspired by his elder brother so he studied a great deal of biology and spent a summer working at the Oceanographic Institution at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Parsons' biology professors at Amherst were Henry Plough. Mocked as "Little Talcott, the gilded cherub," Parsons became one of the student leaders at Amherst. Parsons took courses with Walton Hamilton and the philosopher Clarence Edwin Ayres, both known as "institutional economists", they exposed him to literature by authors such as Thorstein Veblen, John Dewey, William Graham Sumner. Parsons took a course with George Brown in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and a course in modern German philosophy with Otto Manthey-Zorn, a great interpreter of Kant. Parsons showed from early on, a great interest in the topic of philosophy, which most was an echo of his father's great interest in theology in which tradition he had been profoundly socialized, a position unlike with his professors'.
Two term papers that Parsons wrote as a student for Clarence E. Ayres's class in Philosophy III at Amherst have survived, they have been of strong interest to Parsons scholars. The first was written on December 19, 1922, "The Theory of Human Behavior in its Individual and Social Aspects." The second was written on March 27, 1923, "A Behavioristic Conception of the Nature of Morals". The papers reveal Parsons' early interest in social evolution; the Amherst Papers reveal that Parsons did not agree with his professors since he wrote in his Amherst papers that technological development and moral progress are two structurally-independent empirical processes. After Amherst, he studied at the London School of Economics for a year, where he was exposed to the work of R. H. Tawney, Bronisław Malinowski, Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse. During his days at LSE, he made friends with E. E. Evans-Pritchard, Meyer Fortes, Raymond Firth, who all participated in the Malinowski seminar, he made a close personal friendship with Arthur and Eveline M. Burns.
At LSE he met a young American girl in the students' common room called Helen Bancroft Walker whom he married on April 30, 1927. The couple had three chil
Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system. It is a multidisciplinary branch of biology that combines physiology, molecular biology, developmental biology, mathematical modeling and psychology to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of neurons and neural circuits; the understanding of the biological basis of learning, behavior and consciousness has been described by Eric Kandel as the "ultimate challenge" of the biological sciences. The scope of neuroscience has broadened over time to include different approaches used to study the nervous system at different scales and the techniques used by neuroscientists have expanded enormously, from molecular and cellular studies of individual neurons to imaging of sensory and cognitive tasks in the brain; the earliest study of the nervous system dates to ancient Egypt. Trepanation, the surgical practice of either drilling or scraping a hole into the skull for the purpose of curing headaches or mental disorders, or relieving cranial pressure, was first recorded during the Neolithic period.
Manuscripts dating to 1700 BC indicate that the Egyptians had some knowledge about symptoms of brain damage. Early views on the function of the brain regarded it to be a "cranial stuffing" of sorts. In Egypt, from the late Middle Kingdom onwards, the brain was removed in preparation for mummification, it was believed at the time. According to Herodotus, the first step of mummification was to "take a crooked piece of iron, with it draw out the brain through the nostrils, thus getting rid of a portion, while the skull is cleared of the rest by rinsing with drugs."The view that the heart was the source of consciousness was not challenged until the time of the Greek physician Hippocrates. He believed that the brain was not only involved with sensation—since most specialized organs are located in the head near the brain—but was the seat of intelligence. Plato speculated that the brain was the seat of the rational part of the soul. Aristotle, believed the heart was the center of intelligence and that the brain regulated the amount of heat from the heart.
This view was accepted until the Roman physician Galen, a follower of Hippocrates and physician to Roman gladiators, observed that his patients lost their mental faculties when they had sustained damage to their brains. Abulcasis, Avicenna and Maimonides, active in the Medieval Muslim world, described a number of medical problems related to the brain. In Renaissance Europe, René Descartes, Thomas Willis and Jan Swammerdam made several contributions to neuroscience. Luigi Galvani's pioneering work in the late 1700s set the stage for studying the electrical excitability of muscles and neurons. In the first half of the 19th century, Jean Pierre Flourens pioneered the experimental method of carrying out localized lesions of the brain in living animals describing their effects on motricity and behavior. In 1843 Emil du Bois-Reymond demonstrated the electrical nature of the nerve signal, whose speed Hermann von Helmholtz proceeded to measure, in 1875 Richard Caton found electrical phenomena in the cerebral hemispheres of rabbits and monkeys.
Adolf Beck published in 1890 similar observations of spontaneous electrical activity of the brain of rabbits and dogs. Studies of the brain became more sophisticated after the invention of the microscope and the development of a staining procedure by Camillo Golgi during the late 1890s; the procedure used a silver chromate salt to reveal the intricate structures of individual neurons. His technique was used by Santiago Ramón y Cajal and led to the formation of the neuron doctrine, the hypothesis that the functional unit of the brain is the neuron. Golgi and Ramón y Cajal shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906 for their extensive observations and categorizations of neurons throughout the brain. In parallel with this research, work with brain-damaged patients by Paul Broca suggested that certain regions of the brain were responsible for certain functions. At the time, Broca's findings were seen as a confirmation of Franz Joseph Gall's theory that language was localized and that certain psychological functions were localized in specific areas of the cerebral cortex.
The localization of function hypothesis was supported by observations of epileptic patients conducted by John Hughlings Jackson, who inferred the organization of the motor cortex by watching the progression of seizures through the body. Carl Wernicke further developed the theory of the specialization of specific brain structures in language comprehension and production. Modern research through neuroimaging techniques, still uses the Brodmann cerebral cytoarchitectonic map anatomical definitions from this era in continuing to show that distinct areas of the cortex are activated in the execution of specific tasks. During the 20th century, neuroscience began to be recognized as a distinct academic discipline in its own right, rather than as studies of the nervous system within other disciplines. Eric Kandel and collaborators have cited David Rioch, Francis O. Schmitt, Stephen Kuffler as having played critical roles in establishing the field. Rioch originated the integration of basic anatomical and physiological research with clinical psychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, starting in the 1950s.
During the same period, Schmitt established a neuroscience research program within the Biology Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, bringing together biology, chemistry and mathematics. The first freestandin
Social science is a category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. Social science as a whole has many branches; these social sciences include, but are not limited to: anthropology, communication studies, history, human geography, linguistics, political science, public health, sociology. The term is sometimes used to refer to the field of sociology, the original "science of society", established in the 19th century. For a more detailed list of sub-disciplines within the social sciences see: Outline of social science. Positivist social scientists use methods resembling those of the natural sciences as tools for understanding society, so define science in its stricter modern sense. Interpretivist social scientists, by contrast, may use social critique or symbolic interpretation rather than constructing empirically falsifiable theories, thus treat science in its broader sense. In modern academic practice, researchers are eclectic, using multiple methodologies.
The term "social research" has acquired a degree of autonomy as practitioners from various disciplines share in its aims and methods. The history of the social sciences begins in the Age of Enlightenment after 1650, which saw a revolution within natural philosophy, changing the basic framework by which individuals understood what was "scientific". Social sciences came forth from the moral philosophy of the time and were influenced by the Age of Revolutions, such as the Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution; the social sciences developed from the sciences, or the systematic knowledge-bases or prescriptive practices, relating to the social improvement of a group of interacting entities. The beginnings of the social sciences in the 18th century are reflected in the grand encyclopedia of Diderot, with articles from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and other pioneers; the growth of the social sciences is reflected in other specialized encyclopedias. The modern period saw "social science" first used as a distinct conceptual field.
Social science was influenced by positivism, focusing on knowledge based on actual positive sense experience and avoiding the negative. Auguste Comte used the term "science sociale" to describe the field, taken from the ideas of Charles Fourier. Following this period, there were five paths of development that sprang forth in the social sciences, influenced by Comte on other fields. One route, taken was the rise of social research. Large statistical surveys were undertaken in various parts of the United States and Europe. Another route undertaken was initiated by Émile Durkheim, studying "social facts", Vilfredo Pareto, opening metatheoretical ideas and individual theories. A third means developed, arising from the methodological dichotomy present, in which social phenomena were identified with and understood; the fourth route taken, based in economics, was developed and furthered economic knowledge as a hard science. The last path was the correlation of knowledge and social values. In this route and prescription were non-overlapping formal discussions of a subject.
Around the start of the 20th century, Enlightenment philosophy was challenged in various quarters. After the use of classical theories since the end of the scientific revolution, various fields substituted mathematics studies for experimental studies and examining equations to build a theoretical structure; the development of social science subfields became quantitative in methodology. The interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary nature of scientific inquiry into human behaviour and environmental factors affecting it, made many of the natural sciences interested in some aspects of social science methodology. Examples of boundary blurring include emerging disciplines like social research of medicine, neuropsychology and the history and sociology of science. Quantitative research and qualitative methods are being integrated in the study of human action and its implications and consequences. In the first half of the 20th century, statistics became a free-standing discipline of applied mathematics.
Statistical methods were used confidently. In the contemporary period, Karl Popper and Talcott Parsons influenced the furtherance of the social sciences. Researchers continue to search for a unified consensus on what methodology might have the power and refinement to connect a proposed "grand theory" with the various midrange theories that, with considerable success, continue to provide usable frameworks for massive, growing data banks; the social sciences will for the foreseeable future be composed of different zones in the research of, sometime distinct in approach toward, the field. The term "social science" may refer either to the specific sciences of society established by thinkers such as Comte, Durkheim and Weber, or more to all disciplines outside of "noble science" and arts. By the late 19th century, the academic social sciences were constituted of five fields: jurisprudence and amendment of the law, health and trade, art. Around the start of the 21st century, the expanding domain of economics in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism.
The social science disciplines are branches of knowledge taught and researched at the college or university level. Social science disciplines are defined and rec
Jürgen Habermas is a German philosopher and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory and pragmatism. He is best known for his theories on communicative rationality and the public sphere. In 2014, Prospect readers chose Habermas as one of their favourites among the "world's leading thinkers". Associated with the Frankfurt School, Habermas's work focuses on the foundations of epistemology and social theory, the analysis of advanced capitalism and democracy, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, contemporary politics German politics. Habermas's theoretical system is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason and rational-critical communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and pursue rational interests. Habermas is known for his work on the concept of modernity with respect to the discussions of rationalization set forth by Max Weber, he has been influenced by American pragmatism, action theory, poststructuralism. Habermas was born in Düsseldorf, Rhine Province, in 1929.
He had corrective surgery twice during childhood. Habermas argues that his speech disability made him think differently about the importance of deep dependence and of communication; as a young teenager, he was profoundly affected by World War II. Until his graduation from gymnasium, Habermas lived near Cologne, his father, Ernst Habermas, was Executive director of the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce, was described by Habermas as a Nazi sympathizer. He was brought up in a staunchly Protestant milieu, his grandfather being the director of the seminary in Gummersbach, he studied at the universities of Göttingen and Bonn and earned a doctorate in philosophy from Bonn in 1954 with a dissertation written on the conflict between the absolute and history in Schelling's thought, Das Absolute und die Geschichte. Von der Zwiespältigkeit in Schellings Denken, his dissertation committee included Oskar Becker. From 1956 on, he studied philosophy and sociology under the critical theorists Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno at the Goethe University Frankfurt's Institute for Social Research, but because of a rift between the two over his dissertation—Horkheimer had made unacceptable demands for revision—as well as his own belief that the Frankfurt School had become paralyzed with political skepticism and disdain for modern culture—he finished his habilitation in political science at the University of Marburg under the Marxist Wolfgang Abendroth.
His habilitation work was entitled Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. It is a detailed social history of the development of the bourgeois public sphere from its origins in the 18th century salons up to its transformation through the influence of capital-driven mass media. In 1961 he became a Privatdozent in Marburg, and—in a move, unusual for the German academic scene of that time—he was offered the position of "extraordinary professor" of philosophy at the University of Heidelberg in 1962, which he accepted. In this same year he gained his first serious public attention, in Germany, with the publication of his habilitation. In 1964 supported by Adorno, Habermas returned to Frankfurt to take over Horkheimer's chair in philosophy and sociology; the philosopher Albrecht Wellmer was his assistant in Frankfurt from 1966 to 1970. He accepted the position of Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Study of the Scientific-Technical World in Starnberg in 1971, worked there until 1983, two years after the publication of his magnum opus, The Theory of Communicative Action.
He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1984. Habermas returned to his chair at Frankfurt and the directorship of the Institute for Social Research. Since retiring from Frankfurt in 1993, Habermas has continued to publish extensively. In 1986, he received the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the highest honour awarded in German research, he holds the position of "Permanent Visiting" Professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, "Theodor Heuss Professor" at The New School, New York. Habermas was awarded The Prince of Asturias Award in Social Sciences of 2003. Habermas was the 2004 Kyoto Laureate in the Arts and Philosophy section, he traveled to San Diego and on 5 March 2005, as part of the University of San Diego's Kyoto Symposium, gave a speech entitled The Public Role of Religion in Secular Context, regarding the evolution of separation of church and state from neutrality to intense secularism. He received the 2005 Holberg International Memorial Prize.
In 2007, Habermas was listed as the seventh most-cited author in the humanities by The Times Higher Education Guide, ahead of Max Weber and behind Erving Goffman. Jürgen Habermas is the father of Rebekka Habermas, historian of German social and cultural history and professor of modern history at the University of Göttingen. Habermas is mentor. Among his most prominent students were the pragmatic philosopher Herbert Schnädelbach, the political sociologist Claus Offe (professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berl