The problem of assessing the sustainability of human development is discussed in theoretical and practical terms.In Part I, two theoretical tools for describing the challenge of assessing sustainable development are introduced and briefly discussed: (i) the use of an energetic model to describe the dynamic interaction between the human and the biophysical compartment; (ii) basic concepts derived from the hierarchy theory applied to the development of human society. Sustainable and ethical development of human society requires the consideration of three hierarchical levels: the biosphere, the societal and the individual level. Such a holistic assessment can be obtained by integrating scientific and ethical considerations.
Keywords sustainable development  natural resource management  assessment of technology  hierarchy theory  energy analysis
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DOI 10.1007/BF01965414
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Order Out of Chaos.Ilya Prigogine & Isabelle Stengers - 1985 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 36 (3):352-354.
From Being to Becoming.I. Prigogine - 1982 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 33 (3):325-329.

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