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Joel Mokyr

small objects, to overcome optical and other sensory illusions, and to process complex calculations quickly. Technology consists in part in helping us overcome the limitations that evolution has placed on us and learn of natural phenomena we were not meant to see or hear—what Derek Price (1984) has called “artificial revelation.” Much of the 17th century scientific revolution was made possible by better instruments and tools, as exemplified by Galileo’s telescope and Hooke’s microscope. Scientific progress in the modern age was similarly dependent on the tools at

Daniel Cohen, William Deringer, and Vasuki Shastry

millennia rather than centuries or decades. In a creative but somewhat speculative way, he associates the origin of growth with the beginning of agriculture in far apart geographic locations and with the population expansions that followed as a result. A watershed moment occurred at the turn of the 17th century as the scientific revolution began to replace religion with the idea of material progress, generating modern economic growth through the industrial revolution. This event Cohen associates implicitly with the emergence of a permanent desire for rapid growth. The

Mr. Jonathan Levin

through space and time. The physical actions that have an impact on the environment have been affected by several behavioral aspects of human interaction with the environment, some with roots lying far in the past. The “scientific revolution” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries broke the previously intimate spiritual or magical relationship between people and nature, and with it any earlier inhibition against human manipulation of nature. Some progress In manipulating nature, however, has later proven to be based on incomplete, and therefore mistaken, knowledge

Mr. Jonathan Levin

of these elements frequently affect another, reflecting the volume and mobility of the disturbing or polluting elements, their toxicity, their bioaccumulative potential, and their persistence through space and time. The physical actions that have an impact on the environment have been affected by several behavioral aspects of human interaction with the environment, some with roots lying far in the past. The “scientific revolution” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries broke the previously intimate spiritual or magical relationship between people and nature

C.P. McMeekan

science to the animal production industry is indeed impressive. Obviously, animal scientists, and the farmers who have followed the signposts that they have set up, have contributed in no small measure to the scientific revolution of the twentieth century. The Failure of Science Unfortunately, it is far too easy to be overimpressed by all this and to exaggerate the significance of these advances. This is because of the sad reality that the application of science to animal production, and indeed to most aspects of agricultural production, has so far touched but a

Mr. Jonathan Levin
Environmental effects which were insignificant in the past, when the fewer concentrations of population or products of modern technology allowed the vast absorptive capacity of nature to act as a sink, are quite evident today--in the pollution of air or water, the overuse of potentially renewable fishing or forestry resources, or the wasteful extraction of nonrenewable, mineral, resources. To contribute to an overall understanding of environmental issues, this paper sets out a general analytical framework encompassing the physical character of environmental problems, the behavioral factors that contribute to them, and the principal approaches to their prevention and correction.
Levin Jonathan and Tanzi Vito

actions which impact the environment have been several behavioral aspects of human interaction with the environment, some with roots lying far in the past. The modern belief in progress through the application of rationality to the task of manipulating nature is traceable to the “scientific revolution” which occurred in the West over the century and a half between the publications by Copernicus in 1543 and Isaac Newton in 1702. The theological or magical medieval cosmology, which held that “there is nothing in visible and corporeal things that does not signify something

Dirk Philipsen, Richard Thaler, and David Kotz

U.K. government was setting up the first major “nudge unit” to test behavioral concepts. I enjoy his company and his ideas: when I took him to the pub in London, we discussed whether the British habit of buying drinks in “rounds,” taking turns to pay for everyone, leads to drinking too much. The book is highly readable but also a serious study of behavioral economics as an example of a paradigm shift, as suggested by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . Debate inside the University of Chicago and beyond was clearly intense and sometimes

International Monetary Fund. Communications Department
This paper focuses on smart policies that can alleviate the short-term pain of technological disruption and pave the way for long-term gain. As computing power improves dramatically and more and more people around the world participate in the digital economy, care should be taken about how to devise policies that will allow us to fully exploit the digital revolution’s benefits while minimizing job dislocation. Digital technology will spread further, and efforts to ignore it or legislate against it will likely fail. Even with short-term dislocations, reorganizing the economy around revolutionary technologies generates huge long-term benefits. The digital revolution should be accepted and improved rather than ignored and repressed. Given the global reach of digital technology, and the risk of a race to the bottom, there is a need for policy cooperation like that of global financial markets and sea and air traffic. The history of earlier general-purpose technologies demonstrates that even with short-term dislocations, reorganizing the economy around revolutionary technologies generates huge long-term benefits.
International Monetary Fund
International coordination of macroeconomic policies has attracted much attention in recent years. The main issue has been whether economic performance can be improved by coordination Although it is still a controversial issue many economists have argued that coordination would make a positive contribution to economic performance. This paper deals with the requirements for successful fiscal coordination. It concludes that those requirements are such that the best fiscal policies that countries can pursue are those aimed at putting their houses in order.