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Title: Reconstructing Conservation in an Age of Limits: An Ecological Economics Perspective

Author: Bengston, David N.; Iverson, David C.

Year: 2003

Publication: In: Minteer, Ben A.; Manning, Robert E., eds. Reconstructing Conserveation: Finding Common Ground. Washington, DC: Island Press: 223-238

Abstract: Throughout most of the twentieth century, natural resource management and economics shared a common moral philosophy (utilitarianism) and philosophy of science (positivism). The "gospel of efficiency" that was so deeply rooted in natural resource management agencies, educational institutions, and management paradigms fit well with the gospel of economic efficiency preached by economists. As a result, economic thinking has had a significant influence on conservation thought and practice, much as economic rationality has colonized many other spheres of social life. Driven by the goal of providing the greatest good to the greatest number over the long run, natural resource managers and policy makers have been strongly influenced by the reductionist theory of value and the optimization techniques of economics, often attempting to reduce multiple-use management to a mathematical problem.

Last Modified: 8/11/2006

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