Ecological Economics and Human Ecology

In Michel Weber & William Desmond (eds.), Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. Frankfurt, Germany: pp. 161-176 (2008)
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Abstract
While economic theory has been enormously influential since the eighteenth century, the level of dominance of culture, politics and ethics gained by it in the last few decades is unprecedented. Not only has economic theory taken the place of political philosophy and ethical discourse and imposed its own concepts and image of society on other social sciences, it has redefined the natural sciences through its own categories as nothing but instruments of production, investment in which is to be judged in terms of its profitability. In this chapter I challenge all this, arguing for the primacy of political philosophy inspired by T.H. Green, showing how A.N. Whitehead provided the natural philosophy to defend Green's social liberalism. I then defend ecological economics and human ecology based on assumptions deriving from Whitehead to replace current economic and political doctrines as the basis for formulating public policy.
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