Societal Dynamics

Understanding Social Knowledge and Wisdom

  • Frederick Betz

Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM, volume 11)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Frederick Betz
    Pages 1-29
  3. Frederick Betz
    Pages 31-48
  4. Frederick Betz
    Pages 69-94
  5. Frederick Betz
    Pages 95-119
  6. Frederick Betz
    Pages 121-139
  7. Frederick Betz
    Pages 141-161
  8. Frederick Betz
    Pages 163-180
  9. Frederick Betz
    Pages 181-199
  10. Frederick Betz
    Pages 201-225
  11. Frederick Betz
    Pages 227-259
  12. Frederick Betz
    Pages 261-284
  13. Frederick Betz
    Pages 285-303
  14. Frederick Betz
    Pages 305-329
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 331-344

About this book


At both a micro-information level and a macro-societal level, the concepts of “knowledge” and “wisdom” are complementary – in both decisions and in social structures and institutions.  At the decision level, knowledge is concerned with how to make a proper choice of means, where “best” is measured as the efficiency toward achieving an end.  Wisdom is concerned with how to make a proper choice of ends  that attain “best” values.

At a societal level, knowledge is managed through science/technology and innovation.  And while science/technology is society's way to create new means with high efficiencies, they reveal nothing about values.  Technology can be used for good or for evil, to make the world into a garden or to destroy all life.  It is societal wisdom which should influence the choice of proper ends -- ends to make the world a garden.

How can society make progress in wisdom as well as knowledge?  Historically, the disciplines of the physical sciences and biology have provided scientific foundations for societal knowledge  But the social science disciplines of sociology, economics, political science have not provided a similar scientific foundation for societal wisdom.  To redress this gap, Frederick Betz examines several cases in recent history that display a fundamental paradox between scientific/technological achievement with devastating social effects (i.e., historical events of ideological dictatorships in Russia, Germany, China, and Yugoslavia). He builds a new framework for applying social science perspectives to explain societal histories and social theory.  Emerging from this methodological and empirical investigation is a general topological theory of societal dynamics.  This theory and methodology can be used to integrate history and social science toward establishing grounded principles of societal wisdom. 


Epistemology Knowledge Management Scientific Methodology Scientific Paradigm Social Science Social Systems Social Theory

Authors and affiliations

  • Frederick Betz
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of Engineering and TechnologyPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Business and Economics
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-1277-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-1278-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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