This paper investigates practice, frameworks and philosophy in the field of ecological management, a novel integrative approach to closing the gap between ecological and economic theoretical models and ecological and economic behavior. First, I will present the current status in this emerging field and discuss management in relation to various sub-disciplines, including agroecology, circular economy, industrial ecology, and urban sustainability. This provides a basis to analyze the theoretical frameworks found in profitable, ecologically-based businesses and identify key general features that characterize this approach, notably the relationships between: an enterprise’s diversity and its economic resiliency; zero waste policies and societal and environmental impacts; and affordances of the local environment and business’ long-term economic viability. Finally, the philosophical issues looming behind are discussed, notably problems regarding interdisciplinarity and the relation of ethical frameworks with management. Through use of the model-centered philosophy of science to disentangle some of these conceptual problems, I argue that ecological management has a unique place in sustainable development as an independent exploratory tool for constructing and testing economic and ethical models in the Anthropocene.
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-019-09783-2
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