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Environmental Values

Reframing the Value of Nature: Biological Value and Institutional Homeostasis

Franz W. Gatzweiler

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 275-295. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947900181392


The importance of the economic valuation of nature is frequently emphasised in the argument that more and better economic valuation will prevent the undervaluation and thereby the degradation of nature. The proponents of this 'economic' approach assume that rationality, human interaction and the nature of the good remain unchanged. However, the relationship between humans and nature necessarily undergoes change, and the biological and neurophysiological aspects of human nature must be considered to ensure the well-being and survival of humankind. In this paper, I discuss the shortcomings of economic valuation with reference to the above objections, and present scenarios that illustrate the changing relationships between socio-ecological interconnectedness and the integrative capacity of institutions.


Biodiversity, ecosystems, neuroscience, life, cognitive response, institutions, complexity, integrative capacity

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Value Theory in Ecological Economics: The Contribution of a Political Economy of Wealth. Ali Douai

How Much is that Ecosystem in the Window? The One with the Bio-diverse Trail. Clive L. Spash

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Price of Everything/Value of Nothing. Mark Whitehead

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