Function, mind and novelty: organismic concepts and Richard M. Goodwin formation at Harvard, 1932-1934. Insights from his papers at Siena University
AbstractThis paper is concerned with the threads connecting Richard Goodwin's early formation as an Harvard undergraduate student in political science and philosophy, with his life-long concern with the modes in which novelty and innovation enters into social systems and modifies their working. We shall consider the evidence, based on Goodwin’s papers at Siena University, suggesting that Goodwin's interest in the causes and effects of novelty generation in social systems pre-dates the much emphasized acquaintance with Schumpeter, and even the decision to direct his post-graduate formation towards economics. This interest has strong roots in his outspoken involvement with the Marxist political movement in the years 1932-1934, which made him particularly concerned with the relation between the objective historical inheritance and the freedom for innovation and social change embedded in human creativity. Goodwin’s formation on such matters was strongly influenced by the cultural seeds he could harvest, directly or indirectly, through the Harvard scientific and philosophical community and most notably as a result of the intellectual fascination for the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena in its series Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena with number 004.
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
organized system; function; mind; novelty; A. N. Whitehead.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-01-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2008-01-05 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-HPE-2008-01-05 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlo Zappia).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.