Environmental Economics

John Gowdy's Coevolutionary Economics: The Economy, Society and the PDF

By John Gowdy

ISBN-10: 9048157986

ISBN-13: 9789048157983

ISBN-10: 9401582505

ISBN-13: 9789401582506

The topic of this quantity is the human financial system and its coevolutionary courting with the flora and fauna. This dating is tested in 3 huge varieties of societies; hunter--gatherers, agriculturalists, and glossy marketplace economies. A turning out to be physique of medical proof has made it transparent that the present human influence at the surroundings is way above the extent that may be maintained with no inflicting profound alterations within the biophysical global to which we belong. the recent fields of ecological economics and evolutionary economics can assist us comprehend the connection among the economic climate, society and the surroundings and should aid us to formulate potent guidelines to control those adjustments.

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Extra resources for Coevolutionary Economics: The Economy, Society and the Environment

Example text

One argument against the hunter-gatherer way of life is that scientific knowledge about the nature of the universe beyond immediate surroundings could have never developed. This is true but it raises a larger question about the nature of knowledge and creativity. All huntergatherers described by anthropologists had a rich oral tradition of creation myths and speculations about origins, the cosmos, and the nature of truth and reality. It was only with the advent of agriculture and economic surplus that a priestly class took control of such "religious" thought.

The idea that the alleged absence of property rights was the triggering factor is even more problematic. As Smith points out, there are a wide variety of non-market rules and customs among historically observed hunter-gatherers to protect against over-exploitation ofvital resources. The Australian aborigines, for example, had an elaborate religious and kinship system having at its center a personal and spiritual relation with the land. 108) write: In some areas of the Daly river, the Aborigines were careful about exhausting certain yam beds and always left a residue well scattered for next season's crop ...

Such societies were primitive, savage, and represented a lower stage of evolutionary development. Until quite recently most accounts echoed the view of Thomas Hobbes who described life in the "rude state of nature" as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short". This view fit well with the Social Darwinist views of nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Hunter-gatherers occupied the lowest rung ofthe evolutionary ladder leading to western civilization. A 1948 anthropology text describes the period before agriculture as follows: Small groups of people living now in this cave, now in that--or out in the open--as they moved after the animals they hunted; no permanent villages, a few half-buried huts at best; no breakable utensils; no pottery; no signs of anything for clothing beyond the tools that were probably used to dress the skins of animals; no time to think of much of anything but food and protection and disposal of the dead when death did come; an existence that takes nature as it finds it, which does little or nothing to modify nature-ยท-all in all, a savage's existence, and a very tough one.

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Coevolutionary Economics: The Economy, Society and the Environment by John Gowdy


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