New foundations for ecological economics
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.
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.
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.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008.
"Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research,"
UFZ Discussion Papers
2/2008, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
- Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008. "Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 384-393, October.
- Stefan Baumgärtner & Christian Becker & Karin Frank & Birgit Müller & Martin F. Quaas, 2008. "Relating the Philosophy and Practice of Ecological Economics. The Role of Concepts, Models, and Case Studies in Inter- and Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research," Working Paper Series in Economics 75, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
- 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.
- Giuseppe Munda, 1997. "Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, and the Concept of Sustainable Development," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 6(2), pages 213-233, May.
- Peter E. Earl, 2005. "Economics and psychology in the twenty-first century," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 909-926, November.
- Costanza, Robert, 1989. "What is ecological economics?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-7, February.
- Faber, Malte, 2008. "How to be an ecological economist," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, May.
- Tacconi, Luca, 1998. "Scientific methodology for ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 91-105, October.
- Myrdal, Gunnar, 1978. "Political and Institutional Economics," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GLS11.
- Bromley, Daniel W., 2008. "Volitional pragmatism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 1-13, December.
- Spash, Clive L. & Villena, Mauricio G., 1999. "Exploring the Approach of Institutional Economics to the Environment," MPRA Paper 17278, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- McCloskey, Donald N, 1983. "The Rhetoric of Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 481-517, June.
- John O'Neill, 2004. "Ecological economics and the politics of knowledge: the debate between Hayek and Neurath," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 431-447, May.
- Caldwell, Bruce J, 1991. "Clarifying Popper," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 1-33, March.
- Richard P.F. Holt & Clive L. Spash, 2009. "Post Keynesian and Ecological Economics: Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability and Environmental Economics," Chapters, in: Post Keynesian and Ecological Economics, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- repec:esr:resser:gl11 is not listed on IDEAS
- Vatn, Arild, 2005. "Rationality, institutions and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 203-217, November.
- Sheila C. Dow, 2007. "Variety Of Methodological Approach In Economics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(3), pages 447-465, 07.
- Arild Vatn, 2005. "Institutions and the Environment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2826, 10.
- Clive L. Spash, 2010. "Censoring Science in Research Officially," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 19(2), pages 141-146, May.
- Castro e Silva, Manuela & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2011. "A bibliometric account of the evolution of EE in the last two decades: Is ecological economics (becoming) a post-normal science?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 849-862, March.
- Mayumi, Kozo, 1997. "Information, pseudo measures and entropy: An elaboration on Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's critique," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 249-259, September.
- Tony Lawson, 2006. "The nature of heterodox economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(4), pages 483-505, July.
- Ehrlich, Paul R., 2008. "Key issues for attention from ecological economists," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 1-20, February.
- Funtowicz, Silvio O. & Ravetz, Jerome R., 1994. "The worth of a songbird: ecological economics as a post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 197-207, August.
- Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin, 2010.
"What is sustainability economics?,"
Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 445-450, January.
- O'Connor, Martin, 2000. "Pathways for environmental evaluation: a walk in the (Hanging) Gardens of Babylon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 175-193, August.
- Clive L. Spash, 2009. "The New Environmental Pragmatists, Pluralism and Sustainability," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 18(3), pages 253-256, August.
- Luigi L. Pasinetti, 2005. "The Cambridge School of Keynesian Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(6), pages 837-848, November.
- Norgaard, Richard B., 1989. "The case for methodological pluralism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 37-57, February.
- Norton, Bryan G. & Noonan, Douglas, 2007. "Ecology and valuation: Big changes needed," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 664-675, September.
- Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Towards the integration of social, economic and ecological knowledge," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_04, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:77:y:2012:i:c:p:36-47. 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: (Shamier, Wendy)
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.