Man and the Biosphere: Toward a Coevolutionary Political Economy

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Editorial Reviews

A thought provoking work that traces the dialectical development of economic thought from the physiocrats, through Marx, to the present. This interdisciplinary treatment synthesizes economics and social sciences with the natural sciences, focusing particularly on biology and ecology. Stokes supports the argument that the coevolution of humankind and the biosphere is an indispensable condition of society's further development with a discussion covering a far reaching variety of disciplines. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563240232
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/11/1992
  • Pages: 336

Table of Contents

1 Philosophical Origins of Open-Systems Economic Analysis
Historical Background to the Development of Economic Thought 9
The Origins of Political Economy 13
The Concept of Nature in the Totality Theory of Marx and Engels 31
2 Broadening Economic Analysis: The Early Contribution of the General Theory of Organization
Discovery of Thermodynamics and the Collapse of the Laplacean Prototype 67
Unity of Scientific Knowledge 69
Contributions of N.I. Bukharin 84
Heretical Philosophers of Social Energetics 89
The Physiocracy of Frederick Soddy 90
3 Neo-Physiocratic and Biophysical Models of the Economic Process
Generational Concerns 95
General Systems, Open Systems, and Living Systems 99
Living Systems and Economic Systems: Political Economy in the Broad Sense 122
Models of the Biophysical Approach to the Economic Process 132
4 Beyond Entropy and the Economic Process: Broadening Economic Analysis from a Systems Theoretical Approach
Complexification through Differentiation 164
Living Systems, Organizational Dissonance, and Cybernetics 171
The Problem of Wholes and Their Complexity 182
Living Systems, Autopoietic and Allopoietic Systems 187
Hierarchy of Finalities and the General Principle of Descending Constraints 200
Political Economy for the Epoch of the Noosphere 206
5 General Conclusions 227
Notes 231
Glossary 279
Bibliography 285
Index 317
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