The s see several early Lacanian milestones: Unsurprisingly, the Second World War was, for Lacan and, of course, for history generallya period of disruption and upheaval. In his seminars, Lacan deftly maneuvered within and between a multitude of theoretical currents, putting psychoanalysis into conversation with the history of philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, structuralism, post-structuralism, feminism, and, as already indicated, just about every discipline represented in the university.
References to specific topics in economics will be found throughout this article. For articles giving an overview of some of the major fields of economics, see Econometrics ; Economic growth ; Economic thought ; Historyarticle on economic history ; Income and employment theory ; International trade ; and Welfare economics.
For guides to major fields not summarized in single articles, see the entries under Agriculture ; Industrial organization ; Money ; Public finance ; and Labor economics. Economics, according to a widely accepted definition, is the study of the allocation of scarce re-sources among unlimited and competing uses.
It is the social science that deals with the ways in which men and societies seek to satisfy their material needs and desires, since the means at their disposal do not permit them to do so completely.
Much of the work of the discipline can be fitted into this framework, and no other comes so close to accommodating all of it. However, the framework has a serious shortcoming: Most modern market economies experience periods in which large quantities of resources are idle—particularly labor and plant capacity—so that the principal question is not in what way to use them, but how to put them to any use at all.
The distinction between the problems of allocating resources among uses and of achieving their full use corresponds very roughly to the distinction between the two main branches of economics: The latter, however, includes some aspects of money and the general level of prices that also have important implications for resource allocation.
What is now called economics was at first called political economy, to draw attention to its broader theater of action. The concept of scarcity is crucial to an under-standing of resource allocation. Almost all resources are scarce under most circumstances, in the sense that if they were available without cost, more would be used than could be supplied.
Even air, the classic example of a limitless resource, can become scarce. Pure air is now the exception in crowded urban areas and air pollution can be prevented only at substantial costs.
Water is free in many places but scarce and costly in and or densely populated areas [see Water resources ]. Goods, such as sand or dirt, that may be free in their original location have costs when they are transported to the places at which they are needed.
The counterpart of pervasive scarcity is the unlimited extent of material wants. Even among the very wealthy, with no desire to increase their consumption, there are some who seek to increase their incomes as a game or as a means of augmenting their power.
Economics as a social science does not examine what people ought to want, as distinguished from what they do want. The first question lies largely in the realm of ethics, aesthetics, or religion. Nevertheless, much writing by professional economists makes assumptions, explicit or implicit, about the proper goals of economic activity.
Such writing can be considered economic philosophy rather than economic science narrowly defined. The former is often called normative economics and the latter positive economics. It is a positive statement to say that, other things being equal, a fall in the price of milk will increase its consumption—and the validity of such a statement can be tested against evidence.
It is a normative statement to say that therefore the price of milk should be lowered. If such values are widely shared, they may form an appropriate basis for social policybut the validity of the values themselves nevertheless remains beyond the reach of scientific confirmation or testing.
It is generally assumed that the objective of economic activities is to maximize utility, subject to the limitations of resources, and that utility will be increased by the increased consumption of goods and services. In principle, utility can also be increased by such intangible factors as beautiful scenery, pleasant working conditions, amiable companions, or political power.
However, such desiderata are seldom explicitly introduced into economic analysis, for a variety of reasons—some are not subject to measurement, some cannot be produced through economic activity—and when they are specified in detail almost all are very differently evaluated by different people.
Moreover, some lie in the domains of other social science disciplines whose methods are better suited to analyze them. The assumption that the principal goal of economic activity is to produce goods and services, while clearly an oversimplification, is nevertheless useful in a wide variety of problems and can be modified in special cases, as seems appropriate.
In a dictatorship the utility to be maximized is that of the dictator; in a slave society it is that of the slave owners rather than the slaves. In free societies it is usually assumed that each person seeks to maximize his own utility and in general will be the best judge of how to do so.
The national output includes bread and circuses, cathedrals and billboards, vitamins and poisons. The economist can study the forces affecting the market price or cost of each and under some circumstances can also say that a market price does not correctly reflect the underlying values of consumers and producers.
Like any other citizen, he has personal opinions based on values that transcend market values, but if he cloaks these with the authority of his discipline, he arrogates wisdom. The economic value of a particular good will not ordinarily depend on the use to which it is put— the price of a stick of dynamite is the same whether it is used to mine coal or to blow up a bridge.
Almost all societies would judge the value of the outcome to be positive in the first case and negative in the second, but the standards by which this judgment is made are not provided by economists in their scientific capacities.
Although both elements are present in economics, the latter is particularly evident. In most economic inquiries it is sufficient to reach such conclusions as that in a given market the consumption of milk increases 1 per cent in response to a 2 per cent reduction in its price; the economist ordinarily does not care whether this occurs because each family increases its consumption 1 per cent or because half the families increase their consumption 2 per cent and the other half not at all.
This indifference will disappear if the division of families into two groups is nonrandom; for example, it might be valuable to know that low-income families increase their consumption more than high-income families.
An economist almost never attempts to predict the consumption behavior of a particular individual in response to a price change. In some economic studies, data are used in which the observations refer to individuals; such studies as yet typically fail to explain a major part of the variance in individual behavior.
Sociology is the study of human interactions between each other.
Sociology focuses on how human societies and groups and how they function and why. It can look at social problems, why groups of people behave a certain way. Sociologists are primarily interested in human beings as they appear in The primary goal of this type of sociology is description of human groups and processes in social relationships.
(). There is no single work that chronicles the rise and development of sociology as an academic discipline in other parts of the world, although. As a part of a larger ethnographic study of urban beekeepers in New York City, this article considers the challenges of conducting multispecies participant observation – being in the field with both human and non-human informants, beekeepers and bees.
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (April 13, to September 9, ) was a major figure in Parisian intellectual life for much of the twentieth century. Sometimes referred to as “the French Freud,” he is an important figure in the history of psychoanalysis.
His teachings and writings explore the. Welzen Contours of Biblical spirituality as a discipline. that Scripture not only aim at the salvation of each human being, Welzen Contours of Biblical spirituality as a discipline.