Parallelogram of forces

Parallelogram of forces
A parallelogram of forces model (Ѻ), namely the addition of the force normal, directed perpendicular to the plane plus the gravitational force, directed downward, which yields the resultant force, directed in a downward parallel to the plane direction, which Buckle says can be used to explain what he calls the "great social law", namely that moral actions of men are the product not of their volition, but of their antecedents.
In physics, parallelogram of forces is the resolution of the forces, e.g. gravitational force and force normal, acting on a body into its component forces, e.g. force in the direction of motion, the diagram of which makes a parallelogram.

In 1857, Henry Buckle, in his History of Civilization in England, did an extrapolation of the parallelogram of forces model scaled up to conceptualize a similar moral social law order: [1]

“Those readers who are acquainted with the manner in which in the physical world the operations of the laws of nature are constantly disturbed, will expect to find in the moral world disturbances equally active. Such aberrations proceed, in both instances, from minor laws, which at particular points meet the larger laws, and thus alter their normal action. Of this, the science of mechanics affords a good example in the instance of that beautiful theory called the parallelogram of forces; according to which the forces are to each other in the same proportion as is the diagonal of their respective parallelograms. The diagonal always giving the resultant when each side represents a force, and if we look on the resultant as a compound force, a comparison of diagonals becomes a comparison of compounds.

This is a law pregnant with great results; it is connected with those important mechanical resources, the composition and resolution of forces; and no one acquainted with the evidence on which it stands, ever thought of questioning its truth. But. the moment we avail ourselves of it for practical purposes, we find that in its action it is warped by other laws, such as those concerning the friction of air, and the different density of the bodies on which we operate, arising from their chemical composition, or, as some suppose, from their atomic arrangement. Perturbations being thus let in, the pure and simple action of the mechanical law disappears. Still, and although the results of the law are incessantly disturbed, the law itself remains intact.

Just in the same way, the great social law, that the moral actions of men are the product not of their volition, but of their antecedents, is liable to disturbances which trouble its operation without affecting its truth. And this is quite sufficient to explain those slight variations which we find from year to year in the total amount of crime produced by the same country. Indeed, looking at the fact that the moral world is far more abundant in materials than the physical world, the only ground for astonishment is, that these variations should not be greater; and from the circumstance that the discrepancies are so trifling, we may form some idea of the prodigious energy of those vast social laws, which, though constantly interrupted, seem to triumph over every obstacle, and which, when examined by the aid of large numbers, scarcely undergo any sensible perturbation.”


In 2010, Libb Thims, in his “Thermodynamic Philosophy of Evolution”, outlined a resultant of forces acting on a person, while driving in Chicago. [2]

The following are related quotes:

“I have been engaged, as you are doubtless aware, for some years in the pursuit of mathematical research, exploring the mines of science, which have of late been worked very persistently, but often, like the black diamond mines, at a loss. Concurrently with these researches, I have speculated on the great social problems which perplex the minds of men, both individually and collectively. And I have come to the conclusion that the same laws hold good in both spheres of work; that methods of mathematical procedure are applicable to the grand social problems of the day and to the regulation of the mutual relations which exist between man and man. Take, for example, the force of public opinion. Of what is it composed? It is the Resultant of all the forces which act upon that which is generally designated the 'social system.' Public opinion is a compromise between the many elements which make up human society; and compromise is a purely mechanical affair, based on the principle of the parallelogram of forces. Sometimes disturbing forces exert their influence upon the action of Public Opinion, causing the system to swerve from its original course, and precipitating society into a course of conduct inconsistent with its former behaviour ; and it is the duty of the governing body to eliminate as far as possible such disturbing forces, in order that society may pursue the even tenor of its way.”
Lady Professor (c.1883), “Lecture on the Theory of Brain Waves and the Transmigration and Potentiality of Mental Forces”, in: The Romance of Mathematics (pg. 16-17) [3]

“Much of the opposition against the mechanical conception of human achievement centers in the fact that in the measurement and analysis of human behavior it is not yet possible to apply concretely the parallelogram of forces technique.”
Albert Weiss (1925), A Theoretical Basis of Human Behavior (pg. 32) [4]

1. Buckle, Henry T. (1857). History of Civilization in England (Vol. 1) (pgs. 22-23). Publisher.
2. Thims, Libb. (2010). “Thermodynamic Philosophy of Evolution” (pdf), in: The Philosophy of Evolution (ch. 5) (editors: U.V.S. Rana, K. Srinivas, N.C. Aery and A.K. Purohit) (abs| (abs|Nature Network) (abs|Wikiversity). Yash Publishing House.
3. Girtham Girl. (1886). The Romance of Mathematics: Being the Original Researches of a Lady Professor of Girtham College in Polemical Science, with Some Account of the Social Properties of a Conic; Equations to Brain Waves; Social Forces; and the Laws of Political Motion (editor: Peter Hampson) (Arc). London: E. Stock.
4. Weiss, Albert P. (1925). A Theoretical Basis of Human Behavior. R.G. Adams & Co, 1929.

External links
Parallelogram of forces – Wikipedia.

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