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On the Historical Roots of Natural Capital in the Writings of Carl Linnaeus

Including a Symposium on Latin American Monetary Thought: Two Centuries in Search of Originality

ISBN: 978-1-78756-432-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-431-2

ISSN: 0743-4154

Publication date: 20 November 2018

Abstract

No longer do resource economists merely regard nature as a collection of inert materials to be improved by human labor and manufactured capital; rather, nature is, to an increasing extent, taken to be a mindless producer of economically valuable ecosystem goods and services. Instances of natural capital are frequently said to produce such goods and services in a manner that is relatively detached from human agency. This article argues that, historically, the idea of nature as a systematic original producer capable of self-generation is hardly novel. The eighteenth-century roots of this idea can be found in the writings of Carl Linnaeus who depicted the whole Earth and all of its productions as the “oeconomy of nature.”

Keywords

Citation

DesRoches, C.T. (2018), "On the Historical Roots of Natural Capital in the Writings of Carl Linnaeus", Including a Symposium on Latin American Monetary Thought: Two Centuries in Search of Originality (Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology, Vol. 36C), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-117. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0743-41542018000036C006

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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