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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Joshua Floyd and Richard A. Slaughter

The purpose of this special issue is first to highlight the need for wider understanding of the “civilisational challenge” facing humanity, as it encounters and then…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this special issue is first to highlight the need for wider understanding of the “civilisational challenge” facing humanity, as it encounters and then exceeds significant limits to growth. The second is to present material that provides grounds for developing effective responses.

Design/methodology/approach

The issue draws on evidence from previous research, economic modelling and a range of other sources to investigate the hypothesis that humanity is heading towards an “overshoot and collapse” future. It further suggests that a useful way of responding is to explore the possibility that the prospect of collapse can be moderated or avoided through a process of “conscious descent.”

Findings

The main findings are that a very wide spectrum of policies, actions, strategies and options is available that can and should be used to help us avoid the most disastrous manifestations of “overshoot and collapse.” Yet there are also many barriers and impediments that continue to inhibit effective responses. This means that the process of coming to grips with the “civilisational challenge” will take longer and become increasingly costly. Denialism and short term thinking remain embedded in dominant institutions and mainstream practice. Currently, vastly more is miss-spent on various perverse incentives (e.g. advertising, the funding of denial, fossil fuel subsidies) than on securing the future of civilisation. This can be seen as a consequence of outdated values and inadequate worldviews.

Research limitations/implications

The contributions here represent a sample from within a rapidly expanding field of enquiry and action. They should therefore be seen as indicating the need for further high quality investigation, work and action. The main implication is that this process needs to be taken seriously, properly resourced and eventually transformed into a mainstream social project.

Originality/value

The papers are contributions to an in-depth understanding of a complex and evolving situation. Their value lies in the fact that greater understanding and a commitment to early action are among the most productive investments available to societies vulnerable to the systemic threats outlined here. As such, the special issue evokes a fundamental tenet of foresight work in general. Or to put this in the words of Bertrand de Jouvenel, “the proof of improvidence lies in falling under the empire of necessity.”

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foresight, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2014

Richard A. Slaughter

The purposes of this paper are as follows. Part one examines the role of denialism in the context of proposals advanced through the much-abused Limits to Growth (LtG…

Abstract

Purpose

The purposes of this paper are as follows. Part one examines the role of denialism in the context of proposals advanced through the much-abused Limits to Growth (LtG) project. Part two uses three sets of criteria (domains of reality, worldviews and values) to characterise some of the interior human and social aspects of the “denial machine.” It uses these criteria to address some vital, but currently under-appreciated “interior” aspects of descent. (N.B. A succinct “primer” or overview of the concept and underpinning rationale for notions of “descent pathways” is provided in the introduction to this special issue.)

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a number of authoritative sources that track the dimensions of global change and, specifically, the ways that humanity is tracking towards Dystopian overshoot-and-collapse futures. The significance of the LtG project is assessed in this context. Part two employs the criteria noted above to identify and open out the centrality of the human and cultural interiors.

Findings

Responses to the LtG project are shown to have deprived humanity of the clarity and will to respond effectively to the emerging global emergency. The rise of climate change denialism has followed suit and made effective responses increasingly difficult. A new focus, however, on some of the dynamics of reality domains, worldviews and values, clarifies both the nature of the problem and prefigures a range of solutions, some of which are briefly outlined.

Research limitations/implications

This is primarily a conceptual paper that suggests a range of practical responses. For example, re-purposing parts of the current information technology (IT) infrastructure away from financial and economic indices to those tracking the health of the planet. Also translating the case put forward here for a new generation of Institutions of Foresight (IoFs) into real-world start-ups and examples. Further research is needed into the uses and limitations both of positive and negative views of futures. It is suggested that the latter have more value than is commonly realised.

Practical implications

In addition to those stated above, the practical implications include new uses for IT infrastructure based on worldcentric – rather than financial and economic worldviews; designing and implementing a new generation of IoFs; and finding new ways to inform the public of impending Dystopian outcomes without exacerbating avoidance and depression.

Social implications

The social implications are profound. Currently, humanity has allowed itself to “tune out” and ignore many of the well-founded “signals” (from the global system) and warnings (from those who have observed and tracked real-world changes). As a result, it has outgrown the capacity of the planet to support the current population, let alone the 10 billion currently projected by the United Nations (UN). Something must give. Applied foresight can provide essential lead time to act before human actions are overwhelmed by forces beyond its control.

Originality/value

The paper draws together material from hitherto disparate sources to assess the LtG project. It also deploys key concepts from an integral perspective that shed new light on human and cultural forces that determine how people respond to the prospect of Dystopian futures. In so doing, it provides insight into why we are where we are and also into some of the means by which humanity can respond. Specifically, it suggests a shift from collapse narratives to those of descent.

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Michel Bounias and Volodymyr Krasnoholovets

Some necessary and sufficient conditions allowing a previously unknown space to be explored through scanning operators are reexamined with respect to measure theory. Some…

Abstract

Some necessary and sufficient conditions allowing a previously unknown space to be explored through scanning operators are reexamined with respect to measure theory. Some generalized concepts of distances and dimensionality evaluation are proposed, together with their conditions of validity and range of application to topological spaces. The existence of a Boolean lattice with fractal properties originating from non‐wellfounded properties of the empty set is demonstrated. This lattice provides a substratum with both discrete and continuous properties from which existence of physical universes can be proved, up to the function of conscious perception. Space‐time emerges as an ordered sequence of mappings of closed 3D Poincaré sections of a topological four‐space provided by the lattice, and the function of conscious perception is founded on the same properties. Self‐evaluation of a system is possible against indecidability barriers through anticipatory mental imaging occurring in biological brain systems; then our embedding universe should be in principle accessible to knowledge. The possibility of existence of spaces with fuzzy dimension or with adjoined parts with decreasing dimensions is raised, together with possible tools for their study. The work presented here provides the introductory foundations supporting a new theory of space whose physical predictions (suppressing the opposition of quantum and relativistic approaches) and experimental proofs are presented in detail in Parts 2 and 3 of the study.

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Kybernetes, vol. 32 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2016

Mario J. Rizzo

An underappreciated aspect of F. A. Hayek’s mature views about rationality is the inter-relation of the “pure logic of choice” and rule-following behavior. Sometimes it is…

Abstract

An underappreciated aspect of F. A. Hayek’s mature views about rationality is the inter-relation of the “pure logic of choice” and rule-following behavior. Sometimes it is asserted that Hayek abandoned his earlier understanding of individual rationality and replaced it with a completely rule-oriented conception of decisionmaking. In fact, however, the analysis in Hayek’s Sensory Order gives us the framework in which the relative roles of explicit choice-logic and rule-following can be discerned. Furthermore, this framework also shows that his fundamental conception of individual rationality is pragmatic, contextual, modifiable, and ecological. While standard neoclassical economists were axiomatizing the explicit logic of choice, Hayek was decades ahead of these economists in understanding the nature of decisionmaking outside of completely artificial worlds in which there are no cognitive limits and in which the structure of the environment is simple. This paper attempts to lay the foundation for an integrated understanding of Hayek’s pragmatic rule-following rationality and the “ecological rationality” of Gerd Gigerenzer and other researchers.

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Revisiting Hayek’s Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-988-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

William B. Wolf

Presents the thoughts on decision processes of Chester I. Barnard, one of the century’s greatest management theorists. Includes his classic article, “Mind in everyday…

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Abstract

Presents the thoughts on decision processes of Chester I. Barnard, one of the century’s greatest management theorists. Includes his classic article, “Mind in everyday affairs”; his unpublished book, “The Significance of Decisive Behaviour in Social Action”; his correspondence with Herbert Simon, and significant comments found in his personal papers.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Book part
Publication date: 16 December 2016

Jean A. Madsen and Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Most traditional research approaches emerge from the position that all “good” research is “objective.” While this is critical for conducting scholarly inquiry, we contend…

Abstract

Most traditional research approaches emerge from the position that all “good” research is “objective.” While this is critical for conducting scholarly inquiry, we contend that it is equally important to acknowledge the significant impact social, cultural, and political contexts have on the research process. That is, research is a malleable process informed and influenced by broader socio-political forces. Because research is not conducted in a vacuum, researchers have a duty to consider the context within which one engages in research. It also requires the researcher to understand their position or status along with their participants’ power and expertise when undertaking research studies, particularly in cross-contexts. In this chapter, we explore the nuances – some overt others subtle – that have informed and influenced how our cross-cultural team navigated our research spaces. The authors of this chapter are a cross-cultural team comprised of a White American and a Black African academic. Both the United States and South Africa have complex histories of race relations and racial identity within their broader socio-political context which must be considered when conducting research. Therefore, to dissociate and compartmentalize aspects of our identity when conducting research in these contexts may in fact compromise scholarly insights which might emerge from these contexts.

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Annual Review of Comparative and International Education 2016
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-528-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1973

IN wishing all our readers happiness and prosperity throughout 1973 we are very conscious of the fact that it is a climateric year for the people of these islands. As…

Abstract

IN wishing all our readers happiness and prosperity throughout 1973 we are very conscious of the fact that it is a climateric year for the people of these islands. As these words are read we shall be a part of the European Economic Community.

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Work Study, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Book part
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Sebastian J. Lowe, Lily George and Jennifer Deger

This chapter looks at what it means to set out to do anthropological research with tangata whenua (New Zealanders of Māori descent; literally, ‘people of the land’), from…

Abstract

This chapter looks at what it means to set out to do anthropological research with tangata whenua (New Zealanders of Māori descent; literally, ‘people of the land’), from the particular perspective of a Pākehā (New Zealander of non-Māori descent – usually European) musical anthropologist with an interest in sound-made worlds. In late 2017, Lowe was awarded funding for a conjoint PhD scholarship in anthropology at James Cook University, Australia, and Aarhus University, Denmark. However, following advice from several colleagues in Aotearoa New Zealand, Lowe decided to assess the viability of the project with his prospective Māori and non-Māori collaborators prior to officially starting his PhD candidature. Throughout this process of pre-ethics (Barrett, 2016), Lowe met with both Māori and non-Māori to discuss the proposed PhD project; a ‘listening in’ to his own socio-historical positioning as a Pākehā anthropologist within contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. This approach to anthropological research is in response to George (2017), who argues for a new politically and ethnically aware mode of anthropology that aims to (re)establish relationships of true meaning between anthropology and Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Indigenous Research Ethics: Claiming Research Sovereignty Beyond Deficit and the Colonial Legacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-390-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Usman Talat, Kirk Chang and Bang Nguyen

The purpose of this paper is to review intuition in the context of organizational change. The authors argue that intuition as a concept requires attention and its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review intuition in the context of organizational change. The authors argue that intuition as a concept requires attention and its formulation is necessary prior to its application in organizations. The paper provides a critique of dual process theory and highlights shortcomings in organization theorizing of intuition.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual and provides in-depth theoretical discussions by drawing from the literature on decision and intuition in the context of organizational change.

Findings

Investigating whether dual process theory is sufficiently clear, the authors found ambiguity. Specifically, the current definition provided by Dane and Pratt is not clear in terms of its four sections: the consciousness of non-conscious processing, involving holistic associations, that are produced rapidly, which result in affectively charged judgments. Finally, the authors note that the evolutionary perspective is missing and they provide foundational concepts for such a perspective, including the discussion of information templates, memes and genes, as argued by research, condition intuition.

Originality/value

The paper finds that an evolutionary perspective develops a picture of intuition as an adaptive resource. This evolutionary perspective is currently absent in research and the authors provide foundational concepts for such a perspective. They propose specific arguments to highlight the evolutionary perspective.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

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