Best 116 of Kenneth E. Boulding quotes - MyQuotes

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Kenneth E. Boulding
By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

A somewhat casual observer from outer space might well deduce that the course of evolution in this planet had produced a species of large four-wheeled bugs with detachable brains; peculiar animals which rested when they sent their brains away from them but performed in rather predictable manner when their brains were recalled.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

As long as man was small in numbers and limited in technology, he could realistically regard the earth as an infinite reservoir, an infinite source of inputs and an infinite cesspool for outputs. Today we can no longer make this assumption. Earth has become a space ship, not only in our imagination but also in the hard realities of the social, biological, and physical system in which man is enmeshed.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The concept of a value-free science is absurd.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Are we to regard the world of nature simply as a storehouse to be robbed for the immediate benefit of man?

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

[In science any model depends on a pre-chosen taxonomy] a set of classifications into which we divide the enormous complexity of the real world... Land, labor, and capital are extremely heterogeneous aggregates, not much better than earth, air, fire, and water.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Accounting for the most part, remains a legalistic and traditional practice, almost immune to self-criticism by scientific methods.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Physicists only talk to physicists, economists to economists-worse still, nuclear physicists only talk to nuclear physicists and econometricians to econometricians. One wonders sometimes if science will not grind to a stop in an assemblage of walled-in hermits, each mumbling to himself words in a private language that only he can understand.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Economists are like computers. They need to have facts punched into them.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

[The notion of equilibrium] is a notion which can be employed usefully in varying degrees of looseness. It is an absolutely indispensable part of the toolbag of the economist and one which he can often contribute usefully to other sciences which are occasionally apt to get lost in the trackless exfoliations of purely dynamic systems.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

In any evolutionary process, even in the arts, the search for novelty becomes corrupting.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

If the society toward which we are developing is not to be a nightmare of exhaustion, we must use the interlude of the present era to develop a new technology which is based on a circular flow of materials such that the only sources of man's provisions will be his own waste products.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

We should always bear in mind that numbers represent a simplification of reality.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

It is much more accurate to identify the factors of production as know-how (that is genetic information structure), energy, and materials, for, as we have seen, all processes of production involve the direction of energy by some know-how structure toward the selection, transportation, and transformation of materials into the product

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

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.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The controversy as to whether socialism is possible has been settled by the fact that it exists, and it is a fundamental axiom of my philosophy, at any rate, that anything that exists, is possible.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Where there is hypocrisy, there is hope.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Even personal tastes are learned, in the matrix of a culture or a subculture in which we grow up, by very much the same kind of process by which we learn our common values. Purely personal tastes, indeed, can only survive in a culture which tolerates them, that is, which has a common value that private tastes of certain kinds should be allowed.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

In view of the importance of philanthropy in our society, it is surprising that so little attention has been given to it by economic or social theorists. In economic theory, especially, the subject is almost completely ignored. This is not, I think, because economists regard mankind as basically selfish or even because economic man is supposed to act only in his self-interest; it is rather because economics has essentially grown up around the phenomenon of exchange and its theoretical structure rests heavily on this process.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Don't go to great trouble to optimize something that never should be done at all. Aim to enhance total systems properties, such as creativity, stability, diversity, resilience, and sustainability - whether they are easily measured or not.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Mathematicians themselves set up standards of generality and elegance in their exposition which are a bar to understand.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

In calling society an ecological system we are not merely using an analogy; society is an example of the general concept of an "ecosystem" that is, an ecological system of which biological systems - forests, fields, swamps - are other examples.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

It is almost as hard to define mathematics as it is to define economics, and one is tempted to fall back on the famous old definition attributed to Jacob Viner, "Economics is what economists do," and say that mathematics is what mathematicians do. A large part of mathematics deals with the formal relations of quantities or numbers.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The greater the penalties laid on sellers in the black market... the higher the black market price.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

I have been gradually coming under the conviction, disturbing for a professional theorist, that there is no such thing as economics - there is only social science applied to economic problems.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The image of the frontier is probably one of the oldest images of mankind, and it is not surprising that we should find it hard to get rid of.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Consumption is the death of capital, and the only valid arguments in favor of consumption are arguments in favor of death itself.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Justification, in terms of the broadening of freedom, for any particular form of institution of property must be argued in terms of whether the losses caused by the restrictions imposed are greater or less than the gains derived from the elimination of costly conflict.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Almost every organization... exhibits two faces a smiling face which it turns toward its members and a frowning face which it turns to the world outside.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Production functions involving only land, labor and capital... never work and never explain economic development.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The evolutionary vision is agnostic in regard to systems in the universe of greater complexity than those of which human beings have clear knowledge.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

In 1859 the human race discovered a huge treasure chest in its basement. This was oil and gas, a fantastically cheap and easily available source of energy. We did, or at least some of us did, what anybody does who discovers a treasure in the basement - live it up, and we have been spending this treasure with great enjoyment

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The troubles of the 20th century are not unlike those of adolescence -- rapid growth beyond the ability of organizations to manage, uncontrollable emotion, and a desperate search for identity. Out of adolescence, however, comes maturity in which physical growth with all its attendant difficulties comes to an end, but in which growth continues in knowledge, in spirit, in community, and in love; it is to this that we look forward as a human race. This goal, once seen with our eyes, will draw our faltering feet toward it.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

[The consumer is] the supreme mover of economic order... for whom all goods are made and towards whom all economic activity is directed.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The organizer who creates roles, who creates the holes that will force the pegs to their shape, is a prime creator of personality itself. When we ask of a man, "What is he?" the answer is usually given in terms of his major role, job, or position in society; he is the place that he fills, a painter, a priest, a politician, a criminal.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The most fundamental form of integrative power is the power of love.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Integrative power [is] the ultimate power

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The economy of the future might be called the "spaceman economy," in which the earth has become a single spaceship, without unlimited reservoirs of anything.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Nothing fails like success, because we do not learn anything from it. We only learn from failure, but we do not always learn the right things from failure. If there is a failure of expectations, that is, if the messages that we receive are not the same as those we expected, we can make three possible inferences.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

It is clear that the building of models is not a purely mechanical process but requires skill of a high order - not merely mathematical skill but a sensitivity to the relative importance of different factors and a critical, almost an artistic, faculty in the selection of behaviour equations which are reasonable, tentative hypotheses in explaining the behaviour of actual economies.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Conventions of generality and mathematical elegance may be just as much barriers to the attainment and diffusion of knowledge as may contentment with particularity and literary vagueness... It may well be that the slovenly and literary borderland between economics and sociology will be the most fruitful building ground during the years to come and that mathematical economics will remain too flawless in its perfection to be very fruitful.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Conflict may be defined as a situation of competition in which the parties are aware of the incompatibility of potential future positions, and in which each party wishes to occupy a position that is incompatible with the wishes of the other.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

[There will be movement toward] behavioral economics... [which] involves study of those aspects of men's images, or cognitive and affective structures that are more relevant to economic decisions.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

No science of any kind can be divorced from ethical considerations... Science is a human learning process which arises in certain subcultures in human society and not in others, and a subculture as we seen is a group of people defined by acceptance of certain common values, that is, an ethic which permits extensive communication between them.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Thus we seem to be on the verge of an expansion of welfare economics into something like a social science of ethics and politics: what was intended to be a mere porch to ethics is either the whole house or nothing at all. In so laying down its life welfare economics may be able to contribute some of its insights and analytical methods to a much broader evaluative analysis of the whole social process.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Perhaps the most difficult ethical problem of the scientific community arises not so much from conflict with other subcultures as from its own success. Nothing fails like success because we don't learn from it. We learn only from failure.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

Deciding under uncertainty is bad enough, but deciding under an illusion of certainty is catastrophic.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The ability to work with systems of general equilibrium is perhaps one of the most important skills of the economist - a skill which he shares with many other scientists, but in which he has perhaps a certain comparative advantage.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Kenneth E. Boulding

The human condition can almost be summed up in the observation that, whereas all experiences are of the past, all decisions are about the future. It is the great task of human knowledge to bridge this gap and to find those patterns in the past which can be projected into the future as realistic images.