On the Foundations of Environmental Policy
Advances in Ecological Economics series
In the ﬁrst two parts of this book, we have developed the conceptual foundations of joint production, and we have performed an economic analysis of the phenomenon. It has become obvious that the economic approach to joint production, while yielding a number of valuable and applicable insights, is nevertheless limited in its capacity to develop operational recommendations for environmental policy. Part III broadens the scope of our investigation to incorporate an ethical perspective: it links joint production to responsibility.∗ In this part, the argument will be based on philosophical reasoning. Accordingly, the presentation will be philosophical in style. Responsibility and joint production are two terms which are central to a number of diﬀerent disciplines: responsibility to philosophy – most signiﬁcantly in the ﬁelds of ethics and political philosophy – and law; joint production to physics, engineering and economics. As we shall see in this part of the book, important relationships exist between responsibility and joint production. We, thus, intend to relate the terms to one another in consideration of the character of knowledge, and we draw conclusions for economic and political activity. Responsibility is a ubiquitous phenomenon. In fact, one hardly needs to point out the ubiquity of responsibility. In practical life, someone or other is constantly assuming responsibility, or is having the assumption of responsibility demanded of them. A whole ethical doctrine of its own – the ethics of responsibility – has developed around this expression. With regard to modern environmental problems, the philosopher Hans Jonas (1979) has suggested an ‘imperative...