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Ecological economics and the politics of knowledge: the debate between Hayek and Neurath

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  • John O'Neill
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    Abstract

    Hayek's epistemic arguments against planning were aimed not just against socialism but also the tradition of ecological economics. The concern with the physical preconditions of economic activity and defence of non-monetary measures in economic choice were expressions of the same rationalist illusion about the scope of human knowledge that underpinned the socialist project. Neurath's commitment to physicalism, in natura calculation and planning typified these errors. Neurath responded to these criticisms in unpublished notes and correspondence with Hayek. These highlighted the epistemological premises his work shared with Hayek's, representing a response to Hayek from Hayek's own assumptions. This paper examines the cogency and continuing relevance of the arguments in this debate. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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    Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 3 (May)
    Pages: 431-447

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:28:y:2004:i:3:p:431-447

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    Cited by:
    1. Frank Boons, 2012. "Freedom Versus Coercion in Industrial Ecology: Mind the Gap!," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(2), pages 100-111, May.
    2. Ali DOUAI (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113) & Matthieu MONTALBAN (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2009. "Institutions and the environment: the case for a historical political economy," Cahiers du GREThA, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée 2009-12, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    3. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Ecological Economics and Philosophy of Science: Ontology, Epistemology, Methodology and Ideology," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_03, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    4. Sagoff, Mark, 2011. "The quantification and valuation of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 497-502, January.
    5. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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