The Image

Knowledge in Life and Society
Kenneth E. Boulding
Boulding discusses the image as the key to understanding society and human behavior


Is there a level of abstraction from which the segments of our universe can be surveyed and ordered?

Kenneth Boulding says there is. It is The Image —"the sun of what we think we know and what makes us behave the way we do." Having roused the idea, he chases it briskly through biology, psychology, sociology, even through history and economics—bringing it to bay, perhaps, in philosophy.

Mr. Boulding's idea would remove the sharp distinction between facts and values and provide a single language to deal with the separate sciences—the sciences, which, in the author's words, "might also be defined as the process of substituting unimportant questions that can be answered for important questions that cannot." In fact, he considers the study of The Image important enough to become itself a new science, which he—somewhat nervously—dubs eiconics.

Moliere's Monsieur Jourdain one day discovered to his immense satisfaction that he had been speaking prose all his life. The readers of this brilliant book may discover with equal delight that they have been practicing eiconical research all the time.

Product Details

  • 5.375 x 8.
  • 184pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1956
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06047-4

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  • $18.95 U.S.


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