Abstract / Synopsis
The notion of entropy was first introduced in the 1850's by Rudolf Clausius in the context of thermodynamics. Focusing on the meaning that an increase of entropy means an increase of disorder, dissipation and decay, subsequent generations of authors have imported the notion into practically every area of intellectual discussion. This paper will mention numerous definitions of entropy and consider the virtues and ambiguities of the concept of entropy. It will pass judgement on some old and new interpretations of certain current societal developments that have been made along entropic lines and that conflict with the current Western social ethos.
© Philip J. Davis
Davis, P. J. "Entropy and Society: Can the Physical/Mathematical Notions of Entropy Be Usefully Imported into the Social Sphere?," Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Volume 1 Issue 1 (January 2011), pages 119-136. DOI: 10.5642/jhummath.201101.09 . Available at: http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol1/iss1/9
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