This thesis is about values—incommensurable value systems that are associated with two contrasting world views. Fundamental to the current dominant worldview is its core premise that human beings are the apex of creation, and that neo-Darwinian competition will inevitably stratify humanity, sorting out winners and losers while producing an ever-wealthier society. Neoclassical economics is modeled against this backdrop. To this mainstream worldview, a Technozoic paradigm, this thesis will juxtapose an Ecozoic worldview.
The Ecozoic value system is rooted in the belief that human beings are mere members of the Earth community, a community of interdependent parts—a value system firmly grounded in moral considerations, with respect for all of life. The point of juxtaposing the two is to demonstrate that the dominant neoclassical worldview has outlived its usefulness and now on a collision course with reality—the reality of eco- and social-system interconnectedness and planetary limits. Natural resource economics, as it currently exists, urgently requires a paradigm shift in order to transition from contributing to the current planetary ecosystem crises, towards providing solutions and alternatives. This evolution of economics will require reincorporating historical sensibilities and building on proven scientific reality. If humanity is to truly prosper in both the near and distant future, we must chart a new course, adopting a truly life-affirming value system and undertaking this new leap in economic evolution—now.
|Advisor:||Brown, Peter G., Ambrosio, Frank J.|
|Commitee:||Ver Eecke, Wilfreid|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ethics, Environmental economics|
|Keywords:||Ecocentric, Ecozoic, Neoclassical|
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