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By John Gowdy

The topic of this quantity is the human economic climate and its coevolutionary courting with the wildlife. This courting is tested in 3 large kinds of societies; hunter--gatherers, agriculturalists, and sleek marketplace economies. A starting to be physique of medical facts has made it transparent that the present human effect at the surroundings is much above the extent that may be maintained with no inflicting profound adjustments within the biophysical international to which we belong. the recent fields of ecological economics and evolutionary economics may also help us comprehend the connection among the financial system, society and the surroundings and should support us to formulate powerful guidelines to regulate those alterations.

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Extra info for Coevolutionary Economics: The Economy, Society and the Environment

Sample text

These societies, when mentioned at all by economists, are held up as examples of the terrible fate awaiting us if we waiver in the quest for technological advance and economic growth. By contrast, it is argued in this chapter that the hunting and gathering way of life represented, in many ways, the most successful lifestyle humans have yet devised. Of the many societal forms we have adopted, the hunting and gathering lifestyle has two important advantages. First it is the only way oflife truly compatible with the long-run sustainability of the ecosystem and thus the ultimate sustainability of the human species.

Vernon Smith (1987) writes: The argument that life in the Paleolithic must have been intolerably harsh is simply not borne our by the many ethnographic studies of extant hunting societies in the past century. With few exceptions such societies have fared well, and did not leap to embrace the agricu1tural or pastoral pursuits of their neighbors. Whether life in the Paleolithic mirrored this modem experience cannot be known with any assurance, but certainly there is no support for the proposition than hunting per se, means an intolerably harsh existence.

In spite of some inevitable 32 COEVOLUTIONARY ECONOMICS modifications of some of Sahlin's claims (for example, some huntergatherers work more than four hours a day) "The Original Afiluent Society" has stood the test of time fairly well. In a recent assessment Bird-David (1992, p. 27) concludes that "Sahlin's argument, du1y updated and reconceptualized, does indeed hold". Vernon Smith (1987) writes: The argument that life in the Paleolithic must have been intolerably harsh is simply not borne our by the many ethnographic studies of extant hunting societies in the past century.

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