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The Case for a New Discipline: Technosphere Science

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath ()

Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 149, issue C, 212-225

Abstract: This paper submits the philosophical case for establishing ‘technosphere science’ that draws on results of many other disciplines, reaching from physics to the social sciences and humanities. I present claims about the type of entities that are studied by technosphere science and their causal relationships, and introduce central organizing concepts, such as ‘information’ and ‘function’. Agency is no longer seen as a property exclusive to humans, but as being distributed in networks of ontologically diverse entities. Technosphere science draws on various uses of the concept of ‘networks’ across disciplines, such as scaling laws and builds on a universal evolutionary framework that generalizes over biological evolution. In this perspective, the economy is the medium by which human action becomes functional relative to the reproduction and growth of the technosphere. I conclude with showing how human autonomy and ethical commitments remain possible.

Keywords: Anthropocene; Technosphere; Anthropocentrism; Artefacts; General theory of evolution; Functions; Networks; Agency; Energy and information; Thermodynamics; Maximum power; Categorical imperative (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B52 O44 Q40 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:212-225