Kenneth Boulding

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Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Kenneth Ewart Boulding (18 January 1910 - 18 March 1993) was an economist, educator, poet, religious mystic, devoted Quaker, systems scientist and interdisciplinary philosopher.


  • The dangers and the difficulties of the present time are great.... 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.
    • Boulding, 1973, p. 21
  • Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.
  • Mathematics brought rigor to Economics. Unfortunately, it also brought mortis.
  • Economists are like computers. They need to have facts punched into them.
  • We make our tools, and then they shape us.
  • Nothing fails like success because we don't learn from it. We learn only from failure.
  • There is no such thing as economics, only social science applied to economic problems.
  • On Behaviourism:

    That is considered wisdom, which
    Describes the scratch and not the itch.

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