A Reconstruction of Economics

Boulding, Kenneth Ewart

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. Reality, in its quantitative aspect, must be considered as a system of populations... The general study of the equilibria and dynamics of populations seems to have no name; but as it has probably reached its highest development in the biological study known as 'ecology,' this name may well be given to it. 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.

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