Item description for Environmental Regulation and Rationality: Multidisciplinary Perspectives by Suzanne C. Beckmann...
What does it take to change the behavior of people and businesses with respect to the environment? In the 1990s a group of social scientists gathered to discuss this question from their individual perspectives in disciplines ranging from marketing to theology and jurisprudence to psychology. Rather soon it became clear to them that they first needed to focus on basic assumptions about human motivation and rationality; otherwise it was impossible for, say, the economist who regards individuals as calculating maximizers of utility, to understand the sociologist who presumes they are role-playing or norm-guided beings.
Prompted by these debates on first principles, this volume gathers together some of the participants' perspectives on rationality. Wherever possible, the authors link the discussion of rationality to matching conceptions of nature and human attitudes toward it.
The colloquy is opened by asking what it means to act rationally insofar as human actions have an impact on the environment, and then proceeds to trace the history of 'practical reason' from Aristotle to Rawls. The environmental crisis is portrayed as a crisis of paradigms, wherefore some of the sociological and cultural dimensions of rationality are explored.
Also addressed are, respectively, the means of environmental governance, as seen from an intersection of political science and economics; the concept and implementation of sustainability in environmental law; the ways that intervention strategies reflect assumptions about human reasoning and motivation; the mixed rationality called for by the complexities of environmental law, exemplified by the Convention on Biological Diversity; and an argument for supplementing rational choice theory with a theory of values in order to explain why people make so many seemingly illogical decisions.
This book is for anyone interested in multidisciplinary perspectives on rationality or the human dimension of environmental regulation.
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