Title: The world we see shapes the world we create: how the underlying worldviews lead to different recommendations from environmental and ecological economics - the green economy example

Authors: Joachim H. Spangenberg

Addresses: Department Community Ecology, UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environment Research, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle/Saale, Germany

Abstract: The promises of the 'green economy' are striking, but the means suggested indicate only limited novelty. While critics focused on value systems and their implications, the role of the underlying worldviews has gone mostly undiscussed so far in the economics literature. The purpose of this paper is to show that, apart from different values, different worldviews in economics can explain much of the different readings of and attitudes towards the 'green economy'. As a consequence, it is suggested that the different worldviews should become an issue of the scholary and the public debate, as a choice between them will heavily influence the problems recognised and the policies derived to deal with them. For this debate, ecological economics offers a different ontology (including an anthropology), and a different axiology and epistemology from neoclassical economics. Taking these elements together, it provides a coherent alternative to neoclassical environmental economics and its receipts, like the green economy.

Keywords: green economy; environmental economics; ecological economics; worldviews; ontology; axiology; anthropology; topology; policies; ethics; green economics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2016.077208

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2016 Vol.19 No.2, pp.127 - 146

Received: 30 Jan 2014
Accepted: 11 Nov 2014

Published online: 22 Jun 2016 *

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