|Russian-born American Harvard sociology department founder Pitirim Sorokin’s 1928 classification of the first main branch (of eleven) of "contemporary sociology", that of the “mechanistic school of social thermodynamics”, all based on the thermodynamics of Rudolf Clausius. |
(a) Social mechanicsRepresentatives: Antonio Portuondo, Spiru Haret, Alfred Lotka(b) Social physicsRepresentatives: Henry Carey(c) Social energetics (or social thermodynamics)Representatives: Ernest Solvay, Vladimir Bekhterev, Wilhelm Ostwald, Thomas Carver, and Leon Winiarski(d) Mathematical sociologyRepresentatives: Vilfredo Pareto and Filippo Carli
|Schools of Contemporary Sociology (1928)|
|The mechanistic school (social mechanics, social physics, social energetics or social thermodynamics, and mathematical sociology), first of the main nine schools of contemporary sociology, according to the 1928 classification scheme of Russian-born American sociologist Pitirim Sorokin. |
Polish economist Leon Winiarski is described as the leader of the mechanistic school of social theory, which is correct, being that Winiarski was the first to used both the thermodynamic equations of Rudolf Clausius as well as the mechanical equations of Joseph Lagrange; Winiarski is followed by Eugene Roberty, Henry Carey (social chemistry and social physics), and Wilhelm Ostwald (social energetics), as described by American sociologist Howard W. Odum.  Others have described Winiarski as the "most outstanding representative" of the mechanistic school of sociology. 
Sorokin attributes mathematical sociology, or what he calls "pure sociology" to the work of Italian social-economist Vilfredo Pareto along with F. Carli.
1. Sorokin, Pitirim. (1928). Contemporary Sociological Theories (pdf) (§1: The Mechanistic School [pdf], pgs. 4-62; thermodynamics, pgs. 25-27; human molecules, pg. 46-47). Harper & Brothers.
2. Table: Classifications of the Schools of Contemporary Sociology, ibid, Sorokin (1928), pg. xxi.
3. Odum, Howard W. and Josher, Katherine C. (1929). An Introduction to Social Research (pg. 108-09). H.Holt and Co.
4. Birgitta, Nedelmann and Sztompka, Piotr. (1993). Sociology in Europe (pg. 169). Walter de Gruyter.
5. (a) Levine, Donald N. (1995). Visions of Sociological Tradition (mechanistic school, pg. 23). University of Chicago Press.
(b) Jha, Jainendra K. (2001). Encyclopedia of Teaching Sociology (mechanistic school of sociologists, pg. 205). Anmol Publications.