Political physics

Sociophysics-based Politics (SciencesPo)
In 2015, Serge Galam taught a sociophysics-based politics, aka political physics, graduate school course, at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (SciencePo), which drew about 150 student. [11]
In hmolscience, political physics is the study of laws and forces, as defined by physics, as applied to the method of making policies and laws, in government, using the methods of social physics, sociophysics, and or social mechanics.

Madison | Witherspoon
In 1769, American political theorist James Madison (1751-1836), the so-called “father of the constitution”, and America’s fourth president, was said to be studying a primitive form of social physics a Princeton (see: political physics). [1]

Madison, according to John Q. Stewart, was a student of Witherspoon, who in turn was a noted interpreter of the political philosophy of French theorist Charles Montesquieu, notable for his “hot climates” / “cold climates” theory of human behavior, who in turn had been deeply influenced by the celestial mechanics work of Isaac Newton; Stewart, e.g., comments on this: [2]

“There can be no question of the fact that, in early Princeton, physics cooperated with politics in a sort of analogical double play, Newton to Witherspoon to Madison.”

In 1771, College President John Witherspoon purchased an orrery, i.e. mechanical model of the solar system — regarded as essential teaching equipment for 18th-century lectures on “natural philosophy” — from American clockmaker, and self-taught astronomer David Rittenhouse, for approximately £220 and installed it in Nassau Hall.

The following, below left, is a pen and ink drawing of David Rittenhouse, in 1771, showing his orrery to Princeton president John Witherspoon, an item he purchased for Princeton that year [3]

Princeton social physics

In these years, the Whig-Cliosophic Society, Princeton’s literary and debate club, formed, which had in its circle John Witherspoon, James Madison, and Irish-born American statesman William Paterson.

In 1787, James Madison penned the US constitution using social physics based logic.

In 1795, William Paterson made explicit comparisons of the social and planetary realms. [4] American criminal justice professor Curtis Blakely cites this as the first recorded comparison of its kind by a criminal justice official. [5]

In 1912, Woodrow Wilson stated that the Madison-Witherspoon "political mechanics" amounted to something along the lines of the three branches of government being equivalent to three planets orbiting the mass of the people, which he equated to the sun, as diagrammed above right. [6]

In 1861, Calvin Blanchard (1808-1868), a Thomas Paine (Ѻ) proselyte, described as a “a disreputable publisher who kept a shop on Nassau Street, where you could buy any kind of book that your minister would frown upon — whether for free thought or for obscenity” (Ѻ), in his Religio-Political Physics, attempted to pen out some sort of non-supernatural political physics. [12]

In 1873, Walter Bagehot, Physics and Politics: Thoughts on the Application of Natural Selection and Inheritance to Political Science, attempted to outline an evolution-based theory of political philosophy, admixtured with talk of nervous force, stored energy and power of the nervous system, albeit done in such a way that the sides with free will theory, and implicit Christianity, i.e. each individual "chooses" his or her own actions, autonomously and independent of external actions, impacts, or forces, the sum of the weight of the choices, and actions resulting being the measure of the "soul", term mentioned only once (Ѻ), according to the argument that the mind acts on the forces of nature, rather than the reverse of such operation. [7]

In 1894 to 1890, Leon Winiarski, at the University of Geneva, taught a course in pure and applied social mechanics based course in political economics.

Political physics
A 1951 usage of the term “political physics”, in respect to communism and physics, by an author (Ѻ) of an article in Physics Today.
A 1951 usage of the term “political physics”, in respect to communism and physics, by an author (Ѻ) of an article in Physics Today.

In the 1990s, Johannes Fabian (Ѻ) was using the term “political physics”, in anthropology, to assert something to the affect that two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time. (Ѻ)

Deleuze | Protevi
In 1888, Friedrich Nietzsche, in one of his Will to Power fragments, stated the following Goethean-based physico-chemical humanities like logic: [8]

“In the chemical world, the sharpest perception of the difference between forces reigns. With the organic world, imprecision and appearance begin.”

In 1983, Gilles Deleuze, in his Nietzsche and Philosophy, citing Nietzsche's "chemical world" statement, attempted to scaffold on the following following monism view: [9]

“Every relationship of forces constitutes a body — whether it is chemical, biological, social, or political.”

In 2001, American philosopher John Protevi, in his Political Physics: Deleuze, Derrida and the Body Politic, citing both Nietzsche and Deleuze, expanded on stated the following: [10]

“For Nietzsche, it seems, the ‘chemical’ world is one of the sites of the production of bodies politic.”

Protevi then expanded on this model, or what he called the “Deleuzean-Nietzschean notion of forceful bodies politic”, to give the following definition:

“The study of forceful bodies requires a political physics: both a politicized physics (paying attention to the political ground of such basic physic terms as ‘law’) and a physicalized politics (paying attention to the physical ground of such basic political terms as ‘force’) are needed in order to understand politics as the forceful organ-ization of bodies.”

(add discussion)

In 2015, Serge Galam, at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (SciencesPo), began teaching a sociophysics based politics course, as depicted above; the course advert of which is as follows: [11]

“For the first time ever in a social science institution a series of 12 talks will be given introducing sociophysics, a new emergent field, which combines concepts and tools from the physics of disorder to build counter intuitive models aiming at the description of some aspects of social and political behaviors. Talks will be provided in English, although with a French accent. All used equations, not too many, not too complicated, will be explained in details yielding a unique opportunity to learn how physicists deal with discovering the hidden laws governing inert matter, hoping by a reconstructed analogy for some breakthrough in our understanding of human behavior.”

The course, as Libb Thims and Galam discussed, at BPE 2016, attracted about 150 students.

See also
Political chemistry
Political thermodynamics

1. (a) Lear, John. (1957). “American Newsltter: The Laws of Social Relationship”, New Scientist, Jan 31.
(b) James Madison – Wikipedia.
2. Staff. (1955). “Research in Progress: Social Physics”, Princeton Alumni Weekly, 55:17.
3. Armstrong, April C. (2014). “The Rittenhouse Orrey” (Ѻ), Princeton blogs, Dec 23.
4. Commission on the Bicentennial of the United State Constitution. (1992). The Supreme Court of the United States: It’s Beginnings and its Justices, 1790-1991. U.S. Government Printing Office.
5. Blakely, Curtis R. (2014). “Applying Humanized Physics to Penology: Parallels Between Natural and Social Realms”, JHT submission, 12-pg draft preprint, received 6 Sep 2013.
6. Wilson, Woodrow. (1912). “What is Progress?” (Ѻ), second campaign speech; in: The New Freedom: a Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People (Ѻ) (§2:38-59). Bernard Tauchnitz , 1913.
7. Bagehot, Walter. (1873). Physics and Politics: Thoughts on the Application of Natural Selection and Inheritance to Political Science (pdf) (Berkeley, pg. 9; Newton, pg. 204). D. Appleton.
8. (a) Nietzsche, Friedrich. (1888). Will to Power (not available in English translation; found in French edition at II 86 and 87). Publisher.
(b) Deleuze, Gilles. (1983). Nietzsche and Philosophy (49n3, 204n5). Publisher.
(c) Protevi, John. (2001). Political Physics: Deleuze, Derrida and the Body Politic (pg. 62). Bloomsbury Academic.
9. (a) Deleuze, Gilles. (1983). Nietzsche and Philosophy (45/40). Publisher.
(b) Protevi, John. (2001). Political Physics: Deleuze, Derrida and the Body Politic (pg. 3). Bloomsbury Academic.
10. (a) Protevi, John. (2001). Political Physics: Deleuze, Derrida and the Body Politic (pg. 3; pg. 62). Bloomsbury Academic.
(b) John Protevi (faculty) – Louisiana State University.
(c) John Protevi (home) – Protevi.com.
11. (a) Galam, Serge. (2015). “Do Humans Behave Like Atoms? An Unfortunate Answer from Sociophysics” (pdf), Course Advertisement.
(b) Anon. (2015). “Doctorial Seminar by Serge Galam: Do Humans Behave Like Atoms? An Unfortunate Answer from Sociophysics” (Ѻ), SciencesPo, Jan 13.
12. Blanchard, Calvin. (1861). Religio-Political Physics: Or, The Science and Art of Man's Deliverance from Ignorance-engendered Mysticism, and Its Resulting Theo-Moral Quackery and Governmental Brigandage. Publisher.

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