John BoodinIn hmolscience, John Boodin (1869-1950) was a Swedish-born American philosopher noted for his 1916 A Realistic Universe: an Introduction to Metaphysics, wherein he critiques the “social compound” theories of Emile Durkheim, among other aspect of sociochemistry, e.g. explosion, human element theory, etc., along with making some type of proto social energetics like argument. [1]

Social energy | thermodynamics
The following is a noted section wherein Boodin seems to translated the language of kinetic energy and potential energy to social systems in semi-thermodynamic terms:

“In analyzing energy systems we have selected our illustrations from the kinetic state of energy. This is due partly to the fact that we found this procedure simpler, but more to the fact that this state of energy is more significant for metaphysical purposes. The potential state, that of position or configuration, derives its significance from the moving state. By potential, we mean what energy can do when certain conditions are supplied which are different from those obtaining. Thus, to pass from energy of position to the kinetic state, there must, somehow, be unequal distribution of energy. In the case of falling bodies, we have unequal distribution of gravitational energy.

Thermodynamics is built on the unequal distribution of heat. In the case of electrical energy, ‘if any cause operates to add or remove electrons at one point, there is an immediate diffusion of electrons to reestablish equilibrium, and this electronic movement constitutes an electric current. This hypothesis explains the reason for the identity between the laws of diffusion of matter, of heat, and of electricity. Electromotive force is then any cause making, or tending to make, an inequality of electronic density in conductors, and may arise from differences in temperature, i.e. thermo-electromotive force, or from chemical action when part of the circuit is an electrolytic conductor, or from the movement of lines of electromagnetic force across the conductor.’ In the case of social systems, it would be a case of the unequal distribution of emotional-volitional excitement.

In the potential state, energy is just as real as in the kinetic state, but is balanced or in equilibrium for the time being. In the case of a building supported on pillars, the energy of the pillars balances, for the time being, the gravitational energy. In the case of human actions, certain tendencies to action are balanced for the time being by inhibitions. A man would steal, but he is afraid of the police. In either case, when the balancing energy is withdrawn, we have an unequal distribution, and the persistent tendency becomes kinetic energy.”

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Social chemistry | Reactions
The following is a noted social chemistry conceptualized quote:

“We must know our people, their race traits of instinct and temperament, and their psychological tendencies of needs, ambitions, and aversions. This is quite as necessary as knowing the elements which enter into the chemical compound. In either case, if we fail to take account of the reactive properties of our elements, we may find ourselves unwilling participants in an explosion. We must try to discover, too, the amount of emotional excitement which is necessary for the specific reaction to take place. Social compounds have their boiling point and freezing point, their point of solvency and crystallization, as truly as chemical elements. We must find what degree of affirmation or passion will precipitate the special type of reaction. As in the case of dynamite, the instability of the structure may make the effect out of all proportion to the releasing stimulus. Witness the present war of the European nations.”

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Boodin was educated at the University of Colorado, University of Minnesota, Brown University, and Harvard University. He was influenced by Charles Peirce, William James, and especially panpsychism philosopher Josiah Royce (1855-1916). Boodin, in fact, dedicates this A Realistic Universe to Royce, to whom he refers to as his friend and teacher. [2]

Boodin had teaching appointments at: Brown University (1896-1897), Harvard University (1899-1900), Grinnell College (1900-1904), University of Kansas (1904-1913), Carleton College (1913-1928), and UCLA (1928-1939). [3]

1. Boodin, John E. (1916). A Realistic Universe: an Introduction to Metaphysics (chemistry, 13+ pgs; physics, 12+ pgs; social compound, pg. 43; social chemistry, pgs. 43-44; social energetics, pgs. 44-45). MacMillan.
2. (a) Josiah Royce – Wikipedia.
(b) Skrbina, David. (2005). Panpsychism in the West (thermodynamics, pgs. 13, 151; panpsychist philosophers, pg. 155). MIT Press.
3. Reese, William. (2012). Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers (editors: Stuart Brown, Diane Collinson, Robert Wilkinson) (§:Boodin, John Elof, pgs. 86-87). Routledge.

External links
John Boodin – Wikipedia.
Boodin, John Elof – WorldCat Identities.

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