Elective Affinities IAD (new)
Essay on Social Mechanics (1967)
Goethe | 1809Winiarski | 1898
Beg cover (labeled) new 3
CTAH cover (16 Jun 2014) s
Beg | 1987Thims | 2015
A representative selection of physicochemical sociology turning "physicochemical humanities" centric books, all employing the methodology of using the principles of the physicochemical sciences as a basis to understand and interpret social phenomena.
In hmolscience, physicochemical humanities, a near-synonym of: physical humanities, physical sociology, and or physicochemical sociology, is the study of the humanities through the lens of the physicochemical methods, namely: physical chemistry, chemical thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics to some extent.

“The social system thus defined and characterized is clearly an instrument that may be employed, within limits, similar to those explained [by Gibbs] for the physico-chemical system, in studying all the subjects of the first class (history, literature, economics, sociology, law, politics, theology, education, etc.). For like history, literature, law, and theology, all these subjects are conversant with the interactions of individuals in their manifold relations, with their sentiments and interests, with their sayings and doings, while none can dispense with considerations of the mutual dependence of many factors.”
Lawrence Henderson (1935), Pareto’s General Sociology: a Physiologist’s Interpretation [7]

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Sestak | Prediction
In 2005, Czech chemical engineer, solid state physicist, and materials scientist Jaroslav Sestak, in his chapter “Thermodynamics, Econophysics, Ecosystems, and Societal Behavior”, predicted that the physicochemical approach to the explication of human behavior socially, in the form an established science, like thermodynamics, could take upwards of another century to complete: [13]

“Researching the analogy of physical chemistry to sociological studies of human societies is a very attractive area particularly assuming the role of thermodynamic links, which can be functional until the relation between inherent particles and independent people, is overcome by the conscious actions of humans because people are not so easily classifiable as are mere chemicals. Such feedback between the human intimate micro-world to the societal macro-state can change the traditional form of thermodynamic functions, which, nevertheless, are here considered only in a preparatory stage of feelings. Therefore this sociology-like contribution can be classified as a very first though rather simplified approach to the problem whose more adequate solution will not, hopefully, take another century [2105] as was the development of the understanding of heat and the development of the concept of the early elements.”

Sestak argues that the main delay behind the “physico-chemical” approach to the sociological studies of human societies, as he defines the subject, wherein he defines “people as unvarying thermodynamic particles without accounting for their own human-self-determination”, will be owing to the confusion surround the macro (thermodynamics) to micro (self-movement conceptualization) perceptual confusions. Similarly, in circa 2005, American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, while drafting his Human Chemistry textbook, envisioned the subject as still being in the processing and or acceptance stage at the turn of the next millennium [3000].

In 1863, up to 1910, American historian Henry Adams promulgated, in letters and publications, the embodiment of the term “physicochemical humanities”, or the humanities defined according to physical chemistry and or chemical thermodynamics; a few key statements of which are listed below:

“Everything in this universe has its regular waves and tides. Electricity, sound, the wind, and I believe every part of organic nature will be brought someday within this law. The laws which govern animated beings will be ultimately found to be at bottom the same with those which rule inanimate nature, and as I entertain a profound conviction of the littleness of our kind, and of the curious enormity of creation, I am quite ready to receive with pleasure any basis for a systematic conception of it all. I look for regular tides in the affairs of man, and, of course, in our own affairs. In ever progression, somehow or other, the nations move by the same process which has never been explained but is evident in the oceans and the air. On this theory I should expect at about this time, a turn which would carry us backward.”
— Henry Adams (1863), “Letter to Charles Gaskell” (Oct) [1]

Social chemistry—the mutual attraction of equivalent human molecules—is a science yet to be created, for the fact is my daily study and only satisfaction in life.”
— Henry Adams (1885), “Letter to Clover Adams” (Apr 12) [2]

“On the physico-chemical law of development and dynamics, our society has reached what is called the critical point where it is near a new phase or equilibrium.”
— Henry Adams (1908), “Letter to Charles Gaskell” (Sep 27) [3]
Henry Adams (equivalent human molecules) 4
American historian Henry Adams spent some five decades (1863-1910) self-educating himself about how to go about reformulating the study of the humanities, the rise and falls of civilizations and history in particular, in terms of pure physics and chemistry, people defined explicitly as either "molecules" (see: human molecule) or "phases" (see: human phase or social phase), depending, a subject he defined as "physico-chemical social dynamics" (aka physicochemical humanities), even going so far as to recruit one of Willard Gibbs' graduate students, namely Henry Bumstead, to read and review his drafts on the phase rule applied to history.

“The solution of mind is certainly in the magnet.”
— Henry Adams (1908), “Letter to Gaskell (or Cameron (check))” (Sep)

“I have run my head hard up against a form of mathematics that grinds my brains out. I flounder like a sculpin in the mud. It is called the ‘law of phases’, and was invented at Yale [by Gibbs]. No one shall persuade me that I am not a phase.”
— Henry Adams (1908), “Letter to Elizabeth Cameron” (Sep 29) [4]

“I’m looking for a ‘young and innocent physico-chemist who wants to earn a few dollars by teaching an idiot what is the first element of theory and expression in physics.’”
— Henry Adams (1908), “Note to John Jameson” (Dec) [3]

“My essay ‘The Rule of Phase [Applied to History]’ is a ‘mere intellectual plaything, like a puzzle’ [to Brooks]. I am interested in getting it into the hands of a ‘scientific, physico-chemical proofreader’ and I am willing to pay ‘liberally for the job’ [to Jameson].”
— Henry Adams (1909), Notes to Brooks Adams and John Jameson [3]

“I have been studying science for ten years past, with keen interest, noting down my phrases of mind each year; and every new scientific method I try, shortens my view of the future. The last—thermodynamics—fetches me out on sea-level within ten years. I’m sorry Lord Kelvin is dead. I would travel a few thousand-million miles to discuss with him the thermodynamics of socialistic society. His law is awful in its rigidity and intensity of result.”
— Henry Adams (1909), “Letter to Charles Gaskell” (May 2) [5]

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Kroeber | Zucker
In 1915, American cultural anthropologist Alfred Kroeber, in his “Eighteen Professions” article, attempted to argue in favor of the logic of Aristotle, over that of the logic of modern physico-chemical sciences, with the following statement: [9]

“There are no laws in history similar to the laws of physico-chemical science. The causality of history is teleological.”

On this backwards thinking point of view, American physical historian Morris Zucker had the following to say: [10]

“This mumbo-jumbo of medieval phraseology connecting causality with purpose in history is another evidence of that professorial phenomenon, while the body moves and breaths in the twentieth century, while the mind is five hundred years behind its time.”

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Guillaume brothers
In 1932, Swiss-French economist Georges Guillaume and his brother physicist Edouard Guillaume, published a Percy Bridgman based On the Fundamentals of Economy, wherein the attempt to dissect the concept of “value” thermodynamically, i.e. according to conservation laws; the following is a representative objective statement:

“It is curious that in political economy, we have not yet succeeded in establishing very general laws, analogous to the fundamental principles of the physico-chemical sciences.”

Their assertions about free energy were commented on by non other than John Neumann, who surmised that free energy of the estate of an economical subject should be “cash value”.

HPS bannerLawrence Henderson
In 1935 to 1938, American physical chemist Lawrence Henderson taught a physico-chemical humanities like course called “Sociology 23” at Harvard University, based on a synthesis of Willard Gibbs and Vilfredo Pareto, together employed as a universal framework to describe and explain social phenomena.
Physiochemical humanities (Henderson)
Henderson | Sociology 23
In 1930s, American physical chemist, biochemist, and physiologist Lawrence Henderson (SN:6), who built on the work of Vilfredo Pareto (SN:3), to tackle the following monumental project, namely to upgrade Pareto's socioeconomic theories via the modern physicochemical language of Willard Gibbs.

Shown adjacent (left) is Henderson's 1935 isolated five component liquid and gas phase physico-chemical system example model, wherein he shows how equilibrium of the system, according to Le Chatelier's principle (and Gibbs methods), shifts when carbon dioxide CO2 is added, and goes on to assert that these reactive shifting equilibrium models apply universally to the social sciences (humanities), namely to the movements within and across connective semi-permeable boundaried (migrative) social systems. [7]

Shown adjacent (right) is a Romany nomadic family immigrating into England, photo from Our waifs and Strays (1902) (Ѻ), who, according to Henderson, are akin to the CO2 molecules, pushed into England from the over pressurized (populated) Romania when the concentration increases. Note: dsimilar chemical-to-social equilibrium adjusting examples are found in the works of: Julius Davidson (1916), Frederick Rossini (1971), Christopher Hirata (2000), and Thomas Wallace (2009).

Henderson outlined his views as follows:

“Another characteristic of many ideal systems that is, in general, indispensable in order that conditions shall be determinate is the establishment and use of some definition of equilibrium or some criterion of equilibrium, whether in the case of statical equilibrium or in the case of dynamical equilibrium. This criterion is often of such a character that some function like entropy or energy assumes a maximum or a minimum value or, as in the case of the derivatives or variations of such functions, vanishes.

In the case of Pareto’s social system the definition of equilibrium takes a form that closely resembles the theorem of Le Chatelier in physical chemistry, which expresses a property of physico-chemical equilibrium, and which may be deduced from the work of Gibbs.”

On this platform Henderson went on to run the influential Harvard Pareto circle
, wherein through seminars, publications, and courses, e.g. Sociology 23, he taught a physical chemistry based humanities course.

Princeton university (social physics)John Q. Stewart (right)
A depiction of John Q. Stewart's 1950s Princeton social physics department.
Stewart | Princeton social physics
In 1939, and going into the 1950s, American physicist John Q. Stewart enacted the so-called Princeton Department of Social Physics, wherein, via interaction with sociologists and physicists at Princeton, and some 40+ members of his 1953 AAAS "Committee for Social Physics" he worked out the basics of the study of people as "chemical moles" or "number of people" via thermodynamic analysis of "working systems" models of social systems and societies.

In 1974, Pakistani organometallic chemist Mirza Beg was nominated to attend a business administration course, wherein he found the speakers using physical chemistry terms such as: polarization, activation, potential energy, complexes, compounds, which prompted him, out of curiosity, to ask the presenters if they were aware of the real sense of the terminologies which have actually been borrowed from chemistry or material sciences. Beg comments on these queries:

“As expected, they had no clue to them and this prompted me to write a few notes, related physico-chemical terminologies to those of human behavior.”

This resulted in one booklet: Human Behaviour in Scientific Terminology (1976), several journal articles: “Human Behaviour in Scientific Terminology” (1979), “Human Behaviour in Scientific Terminology: Assimilation” (1980), “Human Behaviour in Scientific Terminology: Affinity, Free Energy Changes, Equilibria, and Human Behaviour” (1981), “Physico-Chemical Processes and Human Behaviour Part—IV: Muslim Society, its Formation & Decline” (1983), and one magnum opus book: New Dimensions in Sociology: a Physico-Chemical Approach to Human Behavior (1987). The following are a few representative quotes:

Physicochemical laws can be extended to a variety of human relations and interactions.”
— Mirza Beg (1987), New Dimensions in Sociology (pg. 22)

Affinities and fugacities characterize the behavior of individuals in a society.”
— Mirza Beg (1987), New Dimensions in Sociology (pg. 95)

In 2014, American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims discovered the, heretofore hidden, work of Beg, after he began to upload papers to Academia.edu, and soon thereafter entered into public dialogue with Beg and his physicochemical sociology theory (see: Beg-Thims dialogue).

Beg's main difficult on theory is that he situates the "will of Allah" behind Gibbs energy. This, implicit difficult, was one of the goads behind the launching of explicit atheism YouTube channel Atheism Reviews in aims to grapple with this embedded problem, that seems to pervade the upper echelons of the global scientific community, even those in America, 95 percent of which claiming atheism in belief state.

In 1985, American physical organic chemist George Scott published his Atoms of the Living Flame: an Odyssey into Ethics and the Physical Chemistry of Free Will, wherein, in respect to terminology, he outlined the subject or future science of people governed by physicochemical law: [6]

“To a materialist no thing is real but atoms in a void and we are but molecular people controlled by the actions of natural physicochemical law.”
George Scott (1985), end poem: “Molecular People” dedicated to Lucretius

Scott conceptualized this new science as the seven main subjects of the humanities (sociology, economics, history, etc.) centered around physical chemistry, or something to this effect:

“Since my name is not Socrates or Einstein and I hold only one of the seven or eight PhD degrees this problem requires, readers are quite justified in questioning my qualifications to testify as such a multidisciplinary expert.”
George Scott (1985), mini-introduction (pg. viii) to Atoms of the Living Flame

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In 2005, Czech chemical engineer, solid state physicist, and materials scientist Jaroslav Sestak, in his chapter “Thermodynamics, Econophysics, Ecosystems, and Societal Behavior”, devoted an entire chapter subsection (§8.4) to what he referred to as the “physico-chemical” approach, wherein people are assumed as unvarying “thermodynamic” particles, without accounting for their own “human” self-determination. [13]

In 2010 to 2013, American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims began lecturing at various universities (UIC, NIU, UP) in efforts to introduce students to chemical thermodynamics based humanities. In 2013, Thims began probing various university professors, department heads, and presidents with the possibility of implementing and teaching a course in physicochemical humanities, a modern version of what Goethe, Adams, Pareto, Winiarski, Henderson, Wilson, and the other so-called "social Newtons" envisioned and outlined in their respective works, along with the newer ideas of the modern social Newtons, to be taken by undergraduate and possibly graduate students, as required curriculum (see: two cultures inquires).

In 1990s, English-born Canadian physical chemist and theoretical biologist Lionel Harrison began to push for a "physicochemical" approach in the study of form change (see also: metamorphology) in biology (powered chnopsologist), in contrast to Paul Green's "biophysical" view, albeit not directed at the humanities, per se, but focused on the application of physical chemistry to embryological development; the terminology reform suggestions of his effort, however, are relevant.
Extreme atheism (small)God vs Gibbs
A depiction of the inherent "religious" conflict of the physicochemical approach to the humanities, namely that in the process of Gods energy being usurped by Gibbs energy an entire reconceptual understanding of mechanistic nature of right (natural) and wrong (unnatural) needs to accrue, per the Rossini hypothesis, wherein enthalpy (H) is the measure of "security" in social interactions and entropy (S) is a measure of "freedom" in social interactions.

Religion | Physicochemical conflicts
The physicochemical view of the humanities supersedes and subsequently supplants the older religio-mythology view of the humanities, in a number of decisive areas, e.g. "choice" vs. determinism, and morality, as these ideologies impinge on legislature, jurisprudence, and national policy, etc., as well as personal meaning and sense of purpose, hence conflict is inherent and ripe.

Indian-born Pakistani organometallic chemist Mirza Beg’s 1987 book New Dimensions in Sociology: a Physico-Chemical Approach to Human Behavior, shown adjacent, is one example of conflict, wherein attempts to explain sociology, framed in an overt Islamic theme, in physicochemical terms, is subtly ripe with such religion vs science tension, specifically when it comes to the deeper questions, such as: consumerism, women’s rights, gay marriage, what the supposed ideal society, e.g. in regards to wealth distribution, should be, etc. [12]

Russian-born American biologist Nickolas Dorfman’s 2008 Was Mona Lisa Created by Physicochemical Reactions Alone?, is a second example, wherein the premise that the interaction of molecules and energy alone are "not enough" to explain the various creations, animations, and masterpieces of human civilization, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa, and therefore that we must insert “spiritual ideas” into the main stream science (physics and chemistry) to explain the unique nature of the humanities. [11]

The following are other related quotes:

“In treating society as a system, Pareto was doing for sociology what Gibbs had done for physical chemistry, what Bernard had adumbrated for physiology. Pareto’s social system was in important respects analogous to Gibbsphysicochemical system. As Gibbs considered temperature, pressure, and concentration, so Pareto considered the manifestations of sentiments through words and deeds, verbal elaborations, and economic interests. Now within the confines of a physicochemical system it is quite clear that all the factors involved are in a condition of mutual dependence which defies explanation by means of a cause-and-effect relationship. Change in one variable means change in all others. For example, if a stopper is thrust deeper into a thermos bottle containing ice, soda water, and whiskey—thus increasing the pressure—the concentration in both liquid and gas phases will change, the temperature will change, and the concentration of the solid phase will change. Similarly, the social system does not operate in terms of cause and effect; social conditions, like physicochemical conditions, are the result of simultaneous variations in mutually dependent variables.”
Cynthia Russett (1966), summary of the Pareto-Gibbs-Henderson humanities methodology [8]

“At first glance it might seem surprising that it is a British scholar [Adler] of German literature who tackles this particular aspect of the ‘German genius’, Goethe, but unfortunately enough in Germany the division between the ‘Two Cultures’ is still considerably deeper than in the English-speaking world. Recently, however, the attempts in interdisciplinary research to build a bridge and to indicate the fertile interplay between science and poetry are increasing, even in Germany. Adler’s book represents an important step in this direction.”
— Karin Figala (1988), book review of Jeremy Adler’s Goethe’s Elective Affinities and the Chemistry of its Time [14]

See also
Beg-Thims dialogue
Nightingale Chair of Social Physics
Two cultures department
Two cultures namesakes

1. (a) Adams, Henry. (1863). “Letter to Charles Gaskell”, Oct.
(b) Adams, Henry. (1982). The Letters of Henry Adams, Volume 1: 1858-1868 (editor: Jacob Levenson) (pgs. 395-96). Harvard University Press.
(c) Stevenson, Elizabeth. (1997). Henry Adams: a Biography (pg. 69). Transaction Publishers.
(d) Taylor, Matthew A. (2008). Universes Without Selves: Cosmologies of the Non-Human in American Literature (pg. 108), PhD dissertation, Johns Hopkins University. ProQuest, 2009.
2. (a) Adams, Henry. (1885). “Letter to Marian Adams”, April 12.
(b) Adams, Henry. (1989). The Letters of Henry Adams: 1892-1899, Volume 4 (equivalent human molecules, pg. xxviii). Harvard University Press.
3. Samuels, Ernest. (1989). Henry Adams (human molecule, pg. 115; physico-chemical, pgs. 401, 411; “Note to John Jameson”, pg. 409). Harvard University Press.
4. (a) Adams, Henry. (1908). “Letter to Elizabeth Cameron” (Sep 29), in: Letters of Henry Adams, 1892-1918 (editor: Worthington Ford) (pg. 510). Kraus Reprints, 1969.
(b) Schwehn, Mark R. (1978). The Making of Modern Consciousness in America: the Works and Careers of Henry Adams and William James (pg. 109). Stanford University.
(c) Samuels, Ernest. (1989). Henry Adams (pg. 401). Harvard University Press.
5. (a) Adams, Henry. (1909). “Letter to Charles Milnes Gaskell”, May 02.
(b) Adams, Henry, Samuels, Ernest. (1992). Henry Adams, Selected Letters (thermodynamics, pgs. 438, 466, 517). Harvard University Press.
6. Scott, George P. (1985). Atoms of the Living Flame: an Odyssey into Ethics and the Physical Chemistry of Free Will (thermodynamics, pgs. 181-84; ubiquitous quote: pg. 265). University Press of America.
7. Henderson, Lawrence J. (1935). Pareto’s General Sociology: a Physiologists Interpretation (subjects of the first class, pg. 18; reaction system, appendix #). Harvard University Press.
8. Russett, Cynthia. (1966). The Concept of Equilibrium in American Social Thought (pg. 115). Yale College.
9. Kroeber, Alfred L. (1915). “Eighteen Professions” (pdf), Read at the Philadelphia meeting of the American Anthropological Association; in: American Anthropologist, 17(2):283-88.
10. Zucker, Morris. (1945). The Philosophy of American History: The Historical Field Theory (pg. 254). Arnold-Howard Publishing Co.
11. Dorfman, Nikolas. (2008). Was Mona Lisa Created by Physicochemical Reactions Alone? Open Your Mind and Use Your Logic (pgs. 4-5). iUniverse.
12. Beg, Mirza Arshad Ali. (1987). New Dimensions in Sociology: a Physico-Chemical Approach to Human Behavior (abs) (intro) (pdf, annotations by Libb Thims, 2014) (individual, pg. 23). Karachi: The Hamdard Foundation.
13. Sestak, Jaroslav. (2005). Science of Heat and Thermophysical Studies: a Generalized Approach to Thermal Analysis (§8: Thermodynamics, Econophysics, Ecosystems and Societal Behavior, pgs. 230-; “physico-chemical” approach, pg. 242). Gulf Professional Publishing.
14. Figala, Kiran. (1988). “Reviewed Work: 'Eine fast magische Anziehungskraft'. Goethe's 'Wahlverwandtschaften' und die Chemie seiner Zeit by Jeremy Adler” (abs), The British Journal of the History of Science, 21(1):123-25.

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