Essays on Economic Change and its Theory
Chapter 12: Production' in nature and production in the economy—second thoughts about some basic economic concepts
AbstractIf production means generating output by application of specific inputs, then production is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature. This observation invites a double comparison. First, physical production processes in nature can be compared to those in the economy. The differences highlight cumulative changes in technology which explain how specific modern forms of human production have become feasible through cultural evolution. Second, such a 'naturalistic' perspective on production can be compared to, and sheds new light on, the remarkably different perspective in economics which interprets production not as physical processes, but as a problem of human social interactions and coordination.
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