Thursday, May 25, 2017

Some comments on Transformative Ecological Economics

Continuing this post, my sense of reading the Foreword is that we learn from observing ecological systems in nature and align an economy within those principles and parameters. "Without material growth" refers to the notion that we don't need ever increasing economic growth to support our currently wasteful consumption habits. Part of living ecologically is understanding the limits of growth, economic or consumptive, and modifying accordingly.

I'd add that this also applies to those in the integral community obsessed with endless growth of complexity as indicative of evolution. There comes a point when further complexification divorces from its ecological base and strays into abstract metaphysical territory. Hence my emphasis instead on developmental synplexity, the kind that retains its embodied, embedded, enactive and extended interactivity.

Or as described in the Foreword: "Such qualitative development involves growth that enhances the quality of life through generation and regeneration. In living organisms, ecosystems and societies, qualitative development includes an increase of complexity, sophistication, and maturity." They also note that "it is in stark contrast to the concept of unlimited quantitative growth used by virtually all of today’s economists." I'd add the same for the aforementioned unlimited quantitative complexification favored by some integralists. 

One can preview some of it at Google Books. Chapter 1 is on Whitehead's philosophy of organism. Chapter 4 includes thermodynamics, evolutionary theory and Buddhism as sources of inspiration.

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