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Mathematics and the social sciences at the time of the modern beginnings of the social sciences

Peter Senn (City Colleges of Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Economic Studies

ISSN: 0144-3585

Article publication date: 1 August 2000

Abstract

Surveys the use of mathematics in what are now commonly called the social sciences up to the time of the earliest use of the term “social science” in the late 1700s. Explains the rationale for the organization and structure of the paper and proceeds to reason for the broad definition of mathematics as it relates to the social sciences. The introduction also describes the periodization used. The next section contains a brief description of the state of what were to become the social sciences in the late 1700s. This is followed by a brief description of the state of mathematics at that time. Then follow sections demonstrating that mathematics was used by important developers of social thought from the earliest times right up to the dawn of the modern social sciences. Concludes with a discussion of some of the lessons to be learned from history. The most important lesson that history teaches us about the role of mathematics in the modern social sciences at the dawn of their existence is that the social sciences require the use of mathematics and could not exist without them.

Keywords

Citation

Senn, P. (2000), "Mathematics and the social sciences at the time of the modern beginnings of the social sciences", Journal of Economic Studies, Vol. 27 No. 4/5, pp. 271-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443580010341745

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

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