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

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  • John O'Neill

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 Neurath responded to these criticisms in unpublished notes and correspondence with Hayek.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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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:28:y:2004:i:3:p:431-447
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/beh016
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    Cited by:

    1. Sagoff, Mark, 2011. "The quantification and valuation of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(3), pages 497-502, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Ecological Economics and Philosophy of Science: Ontology, Epistemology, Methodology and Ideology," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_03, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    4. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. 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 2009-12, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    6. Spash, Clive L., 2012. "New foundations for ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 36-47.

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