Present‐day economics is characterised by the fragmentary and reductionist approach that typifies most social sciences. Economists generally fail to recognise that the economy is merely one aspect of a whole ecological and social fabric; a living system composed of human beings in continual interaction with one another and with their natural resources, most of which are, in turn, living organisms. The basic error of the social sciences is to divide this fabric in fragments, assumed to be independent and to be dealt with in separate academic departments (Capra, 1982, pp. 194–5).
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