38 Total Quotes

Herbert Simon Quotes

Human beings, viewed as behaving systems, are quite simple. The apparent complexity of our behavior over time is largely a reflection of the complexity of the environment in which we find ourselves.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Behavior

Engineering, medicine, business, architecture and painting are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent - not with how things are but with how they might be - in short, with design.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Architecture

The engineer, and more generally the designer, is concerned with how things ought to be - how they ought to be in order to attain goals, and to function.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

What a person cannot do he will not do, no matter how much he wants to do it. Normative economics has shown that exact solutions to the larger optimization problems of the real world are simply not within reach or sight. ... the behavior of an artificial system may be strongly influenced by the limits of its adaptive capacities.
Herbert Simon
#Economy

No one has characterized market mechanisms better than Friedrich von Hayek.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.
Herbert Simon
#Action #American Scientist

I started off thinking that maybe the social sciences ought to have the kinds of mathematics that the natural sciences had. That works a little bit in economics because they talk about costs, prices and quantities of goods. But it doesn't work a darn for the other social sciences; you lose most of the content when you translate them to numbers.
Herbert Simon
#Mathematics

One finds limits by pushing them.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

The social sciences, I thought, needed the same kind of rigor and the same mathematical underpinnings that had made the "hard" sciences so brilliantly successful.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

All correct reasoning is a grand system of tautologies, but only God can make direct use of that fact.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #God

One of the first rules of science is if somebody delivers a secret weapon to you, you better use it.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Rules

The world is vast, beautiful, and fascinating, even awe-inspiring - but impersonal. It demands nothing of me, and allows me to demand nothing of it.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

Most of us really aren't horribly unique. There are 6 billion of us. Put 'em all in one room and very few would stand out as individuals. So maybe we ought to think of worth in terms of our ability to get along as a part of nature, rather than being the lords over nature.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

Human knowledge has been changing from the word go and people in certain respects behave more rationally than they did when they didn't have it. They spend less time doing rain dances and more time seeding clouds.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Knowledge

Learning is any change in a system that produces a more or less permanent change in its capacity for adapting to its environment.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist

There are no morals about technology at all. Technology expands our ways of thinking about things, expands our ways of doing things. If we're bad people we use technology for bad purposes and if we're good people we use it for good purposes.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Technology

I don't care how big and fast computers are, they're not as big and fast as the world.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Computers

Behaving like a manager means having command of the whole range of management skills and applying them as they become appropriate.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Management

Anything that gives us new knowledge gives us an opportunity to be more rational.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist #Knowledge

Maybe we ought to have a world in which things are divided between people kind of fairly.
Herbert Simon
#American Scientist