A Critical and Realist Approach to Ecological Economics

Authored by: Armin Puller , Tone Smith

Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics

Print publication date:  April  2017
Online publication date:  April  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138931510
eBook ISBN: 9781315679747
Adobe ISBN: 9781317395102


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Ecological economics is based on preanalytic assumptions informing scientific practices, 1 guiding the theoretical construction of objects of knowledge, as well as instructing the process of researching particular phenomena or events. The task of reflecting these, mostly implicit, assumptions is the domain of philosophy of science—covering issues such as:

the nature of reality and the basic categories and principles of being (ontology), e.g., the relations between structure and agency [see Chapter 14] or the causal role of discourses;

the nature, certainty and objectivity of scientific knowledge about this reality [see Chapters 26 and 28], and the necessary conditions for and modes of acquiring it (epistemology); and

the properties and conditions of appropriate analytical strategies and research designs (methodology).

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