The Place of Science in Modern Civilization

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Cosimo, Inc., Mar 1, 2007 - Business & Economics - 520 pages
Western culture, according to Veblen, is unique because of its comprehension of science. Above all else, he identifies this as the defining characteristic of Western Christian society, because all other social forces gather around it. But far from proclaiming this cult of science as a great good, Veblen instead examines how this peculiarity came to be. Why science? What will become of a society so engrossed with facts that it neglects other aspects of life, like art? Readers may find themselves amazed at the degree to which the scientific point of view has colored Western life, while students of sociology and anthropology will be fascinated by this reflexive look at scientific culture by a man of science. American economist and sociologist THORSTEIN BUNDE VEBLEN (1857-1929) was educated at Carleton College, Johns Hopkins University and Yale University. He coined the phrase "conspicuous consumption." Among his most famous works are The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899), The Theory of Business Enterprise (1904), and Imperial Germany and the Industrial Revolution (1915).

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Contents

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1
II
32
III
56
IV
82
V
114
VI
148
VII
180
VIII
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XI
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XII
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XIII
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Page 114 - By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
Page 132 - The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniences of life which it annually consumes, and which consist always either in the immediate produce of that labour, or in what is purchased with that produce from other nations.
Page 65 - Happily, there is nothing in the laws of Value which remains for the present or any future writer to clear up; the theory of the subject is complete...
Page 114 - Every individual is continually exerting himself to find out the most advantageous employment for whatever capital he can command. It is his own advantage, indeed, and not that of the society, which he has in view. But the study of his own advantage naturally, or rather necessarily leads him to prefer that employment which is most advantageous to the society.
Page 73 - The hedonistic conception of man is that of a lightning calculator of pleasures and pains, who oscillates like a homogeneous globule of desire of happiness under the impulse of stimuli that shift him about the area, but leave him intact.
Page 203 - The value of a thing Is just as much as it will bring," and the later refinements on the theory of value have not set aside this dictum of the ancient authority.
Page 118 - This division of labour, from which so many advantages are derived, is not originally the effect of any human wisdom, which foresees and intends that general opulence to which it gives occasion. It is the necessary, though very slow and gradual, consequence of a certain propensity in human nature which has in view no such extensive utility; the propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another.
Page 117 - When the price of any commodity is neither more nor less than what is sufficient to pay the rent of the land, the wages of the labour, and the profits of the stock employed in raising, preparing, and bringing it to market, according to their natural rates, the commodity is then sold for what may be called its natural price.
Page 120 - ... /These ordinary or average rates may be called | the natural rates of wages, profit, and rent, at the \time and place in which they commonly prevail. When the price of any commodity is neither more nor less than what is sufficient to pay the rent of the land, the wages of the...
Page 128 - Labour was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all the wealth of the world was originally purchased...

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