Social energy

Social Energy (Ward, 1903)
American sociologist Lester Ward's opening 1903 section on "social energy" in his Pure Sociology. [4]
In hmolscience, social energy is a general term, oft-used in social physics, social mechanics, and or
sociological thermodynamics, referring to any of a number of types of “energies” in a social system, modeled as a thermodynamic system, connecting or driving people.

In 1903, American sociologist Lester Ward, in his Pure Sociology, citing Auguste Comte (1830), Leon Winiarski, Hermann Helmholtz, among others, attempted a chapter section on "Social Energy", as shown adjacent, wherein he attempts to address the charge against sociologists who previous to him tended to use "social force" models, not realizing that conservation of force models had since been upgraded to conservation of energy models. [4]

In 1910,
American historian Henry Adams made a famous demarcation on the topic of social energy, in his argument on the applicability of the second law to human history, who commented on the lack of physical rigor in the thermodynamical understanding of social energy in contrast to the adamant adherence to entropy in the social context (e.g. psychic entropy or social entropy); specifically:

“Although the physicists are far from clear in defining the term vital energy, and are exceedingly timid in treating of social energy, they are positive that the law of entropy applies to all vital processes even more than to the mechanical.”

In 2006, Iranian-born American electrical engineer Robert Kenoun outlined a social internal energy minimization theory arguing that the key type of social energy is the internal energy of thermodynamics and that exchanges and equilibriations of this energy between systems and societies, over time, is the key governing process of history and social evolution. [2]

In 2009, American physical chemist Thomas Wallace argued that, in a thermodynamics sense, social energy is interrelated with labor power and has something to do with energy consumption. [3]

Human energy |→ Human free energy
In the early 20th century, generally marked by Lewis' Thermodynamics: and the Free Energy of the Chemical Substances (1923), social energy models were supplanted by social free energy, economic free energy, or "human free energy" (in general) models; after which it would have been difficult for someone not trained in chemical thermodynamics proper, e.g. a general humanities major, e.g. an historian, such as Henry Adams (Adams on a rare exception, being that he attempted to grapple with Gibbs' chemical thermodynamics directly himself, without ever having taken the requisite course), or a sociologist, e.g. Lester Ward, to be able to digress on the subject in any cogent way; the following quote attests to this:

“It is interesting to note that socio-thermodynamics is only accessible to chemical engineers and metallurgists. These are the only people who know phase diagrams and their usefulness. It cannot be expected, in our society, that sociologists will appreciate the potential of these ideas.”
— Ingo Muller (2007), A History of Thermodynamics (pg. 164)

This is one of the standing roadblocks presently maintaining the standing or status quo two cultures divide.

See also
Psychic energy
Human energy
Social cannon ball model
Social free energy

1. (a) Adams, Henry. (1910). A Letter to American Teachers of History. Google Books, Scanned PDF. Washington.
(b) Clarke, Bruce. (2001). Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics (pg. 73). University of Michigan Press.
2. Kenoun, Robert. (2006). A Proposition to Theory of History and Social Evolution (pgs. vii, xvii-xviii). Trafford Publishing.
3. Wallace, Thomas P. (2009). Wealth, Energy, and Human Values: the Dynamics of Decaying Civilizations from Ancient Greece to America (social energy, pg. 103). AuthorHouse.
4. Ward, Lester F. (1903). Pure Sociology: a Treatise on the Origin and Spontaneous Development of Society (§: Social Energy, pgs. 165-68) . MacMillan, 1908.

Further reading
● Rosa, Eugene A., Machlis, Gary E., and Keating, Kenneth M. (1988). “Energy and Society”, Ann. Rev. Sociol. 14: 149-72.

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