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New foundations for ecological economics

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  • Spash, Clive L.

Abstract

Ecological economics has been repeatedly described as transdiciplinary and open to including everything from positivism to relativism. I argue for a revision and rejection of this position in favour of realism and reasoned critique. Looking into the ontological presuppositions and considering an epistemology appropriate for ecological economics to meaningfully exist requires rejecting the form of methodological pluralism which has been advocated since the start of this journal. This means being clear about the differences in our worldview (or paradigm) from others and being aware of the substantive failures of orthodox economics in addressing reality. This paper argues for a fundamental review of the basis upon which ecological economics has been founded and in so doing seeks improved clarity as to the competing and complementary epistemologies and methodologies. In part this requires establishing serious interdisciplinary research to replace superficial transdisciplinary rhetoric. The argument places the future of ecological economics firmly amongst heterodox economic schools of thought and in ideological opposition to those supporting the existing institutional structures perpetuating a false reality of the world's social, environmental and economic systems and their operation.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 77 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 36-47

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:77:y:2012:i:c:p:36-47

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Ontology; Epistemology; Methodology; Ideology; Preanalytic vision; Interdisciplinarity; Logical empiricism; Constructivism; Post-normal science; Critical realism; Ecological economics;

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Citations

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Ecological Economics
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Cited by:
  1. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Timothy M. Waring & Sandra Hughes Goff & Julia McGuire & Z. Dylan Moore & Abigail Sullivan, 2014. "Cooperation across Organizational Boundaries: Experimental Evidence from a Major Sustainability Science Project," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1171-1190, March.
  3. Kallis, Giorgos & Gómez-Baggethun, Erik & Zografos, Christos, 2013. "To value or not to value? That is not the question," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 97-105.
  4. Birkin, Frank & Polesie, Thomas, 2013. "The relevance of epistemic analysis to sustainability economics and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 144-152.
  5. Klauer, Bernd & Manstetten, Reiner & Petersen, Thomas & Schiller, Johannes, 2013. "The art of long-term thinking: A bridge between sustainability science and politics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 79-84.
  6. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
  7. Georges BASTIN & Isabelle CASSIERS, 2013. "Modelling the balanced transition to a sustainable economy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2013014, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  8. Clive L. Spash, 2013. "The Shallow or the Deep Ecological Economics Movement?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2013_01, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  9. repec:ner:louvai:info:hdl:2078.1/123860 is not listed on IDEAS

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