IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Clarifying protected and utilitarian values of critical capital

  • Pearson, Leonie J.
  • Kashima, Yoshihisa
  • Pearson, Craig J.
Registered author(s):

    Sustainable development may be defined as a non-declining value of capital stocks (social, natural, built and human) over time. The ability for substitution between and within each stock over time has been widely debated, resulting in the identification, and then preservation of ‘critical capital stocks’. We propose that ‘critical’ can be defined from two ethical perspectives; teleological or consequentialist (goal or ends based) and deontological (moral duty and rule based). The consequential ethic ensures critical capitals are ‘utilitarian’ in value and they generate goods and services for the maintenance of human wellbeing. Whilst deontologically critical capital depends on culturally and psychologically ‘protected’ values, which may vary locally or at least (as for, e.g., biodiversity) be open to conflicting opinions. This separation in the basis for defining critical capital stocks leads to awareness that some tradeoffs between critical capital stocks may be irreconcilable or likely to lead to outrage. A framework is developed to guide practitioners as to how to identify critical capital stocks using both protected and utilitarian values. Examples show that ‘protected’ values are likely to be specific to community (ethnic, religious, cultural, etc.) and require different methods for resolving substitutability of capital stocks to achieve sustainable development.

    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:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    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.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 206-210

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:73:y:2012:i:c:p:206-210
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

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

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:73:y:2012:i:c:p:206-210. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

    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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.