Edited by Ekko C. Van Ierland, Jan van der Straaten and Herman Vollebergh
Chapter 5: Roefie Hueting's perpendicular 'demand curve' and the issue of objective value
5. Roeﬁe Hueting’s perpendicular ‘demand curve’ and the issue of objective value Herman E. Daly 1 INTRODUCTION A logical diﬃculty encountered in the technical problem of correcting national income for the loss of natural functions has led Roeﬁe Hueting into a fundamental conﬂict not only with orthodox economics, but also, surprisingly, with the dominant assumption of Western culture since the Enlightenment. That assumption of our modern culture is the rejection of teleology, of ﬁnal causation or purpose, as a real and undeniable part of the world in which we live. I do not think that Roeﬁe Hueting was seeking such a conﬂict – on the contrary I think it makes him uneasy. But Hueting is relentlessly logical and honest – characteristics that often lead one to situations of conﬂict. Furthermore, all of us are involved in that conﬂict whether we are aware of it or not. It is not just Hueting’s problem. My task in this study is to explain more fully and give reasons for what I have just asserted. To do that I should begin with some words about the technical problem that has led to the philosophical confrontation. 2 THE TECHNICAL PROBLEM The loss of natural functions, the ‘New Scarcity’ that Hueting (1980) has been a pioneer in identifying, explaining, and measuring, has traditionally not been recognized in national income accounting. Loss of environmental function has been an unmeasured reduction in both productive capacity and direct welfare. To account for this...
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