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Searching for a Scientific Paradigm in Ecological Economics: The History of Ecological Economic Thought, 1880s–1930s

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  • Franco, Marco P.V.

Abstract

This paper addresses the history of ecological economic thought (EET) in the period between the 1880s and 1930s, with the aim to contribute to a better understanding of the early history of modern ecological economics, as well as to the current position of the discipline in relation to its values, goals, methods and contents. EET is defined as the ideas concerning the interlinkages between ecology and economics and described through the analysis of the flows and stocks of energy and matter, including their economic implications for the processes of social provisioning and cultural development. The diversity of EET is analyzed in terms of dissimilar positions mainly concerning energy as a determinant of cultural development and the normative aspects involving resource distribution, social ideals and policy-making. Social energetics is identified as a foundation of EET. These definitions are then used to argue for the formation of a scientific metaparadigm, falling short of a full-scale Kuhnian scientific paradigm. In addition, insights are drawn concerning paradigm formation in modern ecological economics and how this paradigm formation is related to the on-going debate among ecological economists on the benefits and limits of the adoption of a broad methodological pluralism.

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  • Franco, Marco P.V., 2018. "Searching for a Scientific Paradigm in Ecological Economics: The History of Ecological Economic Thought, 1880s–1930s," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 195-203.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:153:y:2018:i:c:p:195-203
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.07.022
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    4. Jun Yan & Lianyong Feng & Alina Steblyanskaya & Anton Sokolov & Nataliya Iskritskaya, 2019. "Creating an Energy Analysis Concept for Oil and Gas Companies: The Case of the Yakutiya Company in Russia," Energies, MDPI, vol. 12(2), pages 1-18, January.
    5. François Allisson & Antoine Missemer, 2020. "Some Historiographical Tools for the Study of Intellectual Legacies," Post-Print halshs-02931492, HAL.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Ecological economics; Ecological economic thought; Social energetics; Scientific paradigm; Scientific metaparadigm;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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