IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Different paths, same mountain: Daoism, ecology and the new paradigm of science


  • Anthony Alexander


Western physics in the 18th century was fundamental in establishing basic concepts in the study of economics. However, this form of physics has now been comprehensively displaced by progress within Western science, notably the rise of the new paradigm of science formalised as systems theory. This utilises new mathematical techniques incorporating Newtonian science within a far larger field of understanding that also includes the complex, unpredicateble and fluid aspects of the real world. However, the institutions of the modern world, especially industrial globalisation, remain based on the principles of the Newtonian world view that sees the universe as ultimately stable and ordered, and human activity fundamentally separate from nature. Environmentalism and green economics are focused on redressing the imbalances between humanity and nature that are being caused by the success of the industrial revolution created by Newtonian physics. The awareness of other cultures made possible by modern globalisation has, however, produced opportunities to understand alternative ways of thought. The ancient Chinese system of Daoism is one which in many respects has an approach that can be usefully contrasted with the new paradigm of science and environmental issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Alexander, 2008. "Different paths, same mountain: Daoism, ecology and the new paradigm of science," International Journal of Green Economics, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(2), pages 153-175.
  • Handle: RePEc:ids:ijgrec:v:2:y:2008:i:2:p:153-175

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ids:ijgrec:v:2:y:2008:i:2:p:153-175. 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: (Darren Simpson). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.