Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Humankind and the environment: an anatomy of surprise and ignorance

Contents:

Author Info

  • Malte Faber
  • Reiner Manstetten
  • John L.R. Proops
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper addresses the problem of 'ignorance' in philosophy and science, particularly with respect to the conceptualization, study and solution of environmental problems. We begin by distinguishing between 'risk', 'uncertainty' and 'ignorance'. We then offer a categorization of ignorance, and use these categories to assess the role of science as a means of reducing ignorance. We note that to proceed with science, several 'acts of faith' are necessary. We conclude with a discussion of the importance of an attitude of openness in science and philosophy, especially regarding environmental problems. Throughout, we illustrate our discussion of ignorance, and the problems involved in its reduction, by reference to environmental issues.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/ev/1992/00000001/00000003/art00003
    Download Restriction: downloads of articles require payment or registration of paid subscription

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

    Volume (Year): 1 (1992)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 217-241

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev1:ev114

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk

    Related research

    Keywords: environment; philosophy; ignorance; openness; surprise;

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin F., 2009. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2008-2020, May.
    2. Sigel, Katja & Klauer, Bernd & Pahl-Wostl, Claudia, 2010. "Conceptualising uncertainty in environmental decision-making: The example of the EU water framework directive," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 502-510, January.
    3. Nikolai Hoberg & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2011. "Irreversibility, ignorance, and the intergenerational equity-efficiency trade-off," Working Paper Series in Economics 198, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    4. Palmini, Dennis, 1999. "Uncertainty, risk aversion, and the game theoretic foundations of the safe minimum standard: a reassessment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 463-472, June.
    5. Richard B. Howarth, 2004. "Against High Interest Rates," Rensselaer Working Papers in Economics 0404, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Economics.
    6. Lehmann-Waffenschmidt, Marco, 2001. "Kontingenz und Kausalität bei evolutorischen Prozessen," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 12/01, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Scott, Antony, 1999. "Trust law, sustainability, and responsible action," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 139-154, October.
    8. Petersen, Thomas, 2006. "The European Water Framework Directive: responsibility under conditions of uncertainty, ignorance and complexity," UFZ Discussion Papers 7/2006, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    9. Baumgartner, Stefan & Dyckhoff, Harald & Faber, Malte & Proops, John & Schiller, Johannes, 2001. "The concept of joint production and ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 365-372, March.
    10. 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.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev1:ev114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andrew Johnson).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.