David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):197-227 (2011)
This article argues that there is a fundamental contradiction between a profit-oriented economic system and long-term environmental sustainability. The `solutions' that are proposed by mainstream environmental economists as well as their `ecological economy' colleagues do not solve the central problems, but serve to further highlight the difficulties of changing capitalism towards sustainability. In a profit-oriented economy, capital accumulation is a prime driving force, and non-growth for the economy at large tends to result in serious economic and social crises. On the other hand, a de-coupling of economic growth from resource depletion and environmental degradation is possible only within certain sectors or product types and within relatively short time perspectives. The assumptions of mainstream economists about infinite economic growth (and infinite dematerialisation) represent a false ontology according to which the powers and mechanisms of the natural world are considered totally controllable by humans as if they were mere epiphenomena of the human world. On the other hand, the assumptions of certain ecological economists about the possibility of steady-state capitalism disregard the relation between capital and surplus value, which constitutes a strong mechanism driving the capitalist economy toward limitless growth
|Keywords||tendencies environmental sustainability economic growth critical realism dematerialisation|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Uma Balakrishnan, Tim Duvall & Patrick Primeaux (2003). Rewriting the Bases of Capitalism: Reflexive Modernity and Ecological Sustainability as the Foundations of a New Normative Framework. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 47 (4):299 - 314.
Rudi M. Verburg & Vincent Wiegel (1997). On the Compatibility of Sustainability and Economic Growth. Environmental Ethics 19 (3):247-265.
Vincent Wiegel (1997). On the Compatibility of Sustainability and Economic Growth. Environmental Ethics 19 (3):247-265.
Nevin Cavusoglu & Edinaldo Tebaldi (2006). Evaluating Growth Theories and Their Empirical Support: An Assessment of the Convergence Hypothesis. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (1):49-75.
John M. Gowdy (1994). Progress and Environmental Sustainability. Environmental Ethics 16 (1):41-55.
J. McNeill (2003). Historical Perspectives on Global Ecology. World Futures 59 (3 & 4):263 – 274.
Petter Næss (2006). Unsustainable Growth, Unsustainable Capitalism. Journal of Critical Realism 5 (2):197-227.
Added to index2010-08-16
Total downloads43 ( #39,811 of 1,102,744 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #61,837 of 1,102,744 )
How can I increase my downloads?