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The Limits to Certainty

O. Giarini

Published by Springer
ISBN 10: 0792321677 / ISBN 13: 9780792321675
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Limits to Certainty

Publisher: Springer

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New

Book Type: Hardcover


Hardcover. 271 pages. Dimensions: 9.5in. x 6.5in. x 1.1in.This second edition of The Limits to Certainty has been thoroughly revised and edited. A new chapter on Facing Social Uncertainty has been added, while the section on Value and Time in the Service Economy: The Notion of Utilization has been extended in order to include the conclusions of recent research conducted by the authors on the subject of waste prevention on the product level, i. e. making a better use of resources during the utilization of goods. The key to economic progress has always been the better allocation of resources, and the majority of resources available today are in the form of service activities. In order to measure and exploit such resources, one needs a theoretical frame of reference based on the notions of risk and uncertainty, rather than on the certain equilibrium of the present economic system. Service means performances, in real periods of time, which means that the identification of values must be based on probabilities: the assessment of the probability and cost of a distribution of events in the future. The Limits to Certainty, with a Preface by Ilya Prigogine and a Foreword by Alexander King, is thus about the economic foundations of the Service Economy. The Limits to Certainty is published under the auspices of the Club of Rome and is, in fact, a follow-up to a report published by the Club in 1980, Dialogue on Wealth and Welfare, in which is was proposed that the limits to growth were the limits of a specific type of economic growth that had successfully been developed voer a period of two centuries. This earlier report went on to propose that a new economic growth needed to integrate economic and ecological factors, in practice as well as in theory and therefore revise the notion of economic value. This economic transition developed parallel to a growing movement at a more fundamental philosophical level favoring indeterminism against determinism: the notions of risks and uncertainty are increasingly considered as the realm of the new challenges, as compared to a perception - typical of the deterministic era - according to which risk and uncertainty reflect a level of imperfect knowledge which science would or should eliminate: a positive versus a negative connotation of risk and uncertainty. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780792321675

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Synopsis: I consider it a privilege to have been invited to write a preface for "The Limits to Certainty". It is however paradoxical that a theo­ retical physicist be asked to write about a monograph dealing mainly with service economics. Notwithstanding, I am delighted to do so. Indeed, it is striking that two so widely different fields like physics and social science, and more especially economics, can interact in such a constructive way. There is no question here of reductionism. Nobody claims to be able to reduce social scien­ ces to physics, nor to use patterns of social interaction in order to formulate new laws for atoms. What is at stake here is more im­ portant than reduction; the age-old separation between the so-cal­ led "hard" and "soft sciences" is breaking down. This separation has a long history. First, one should recall the influence of Newton's achievement on the formulation of scienti­ fic goals. This influence led to the formulation of equilibrium mo­ dels for supply/demand adjustment. As was noticed by Walter Weisskopf: "the Newtonian paradigm underlying classical and non-classical economics interpreted the economy according to the patterns developed in classical physics and mechanics, in analogy to the planetary system, to a machine or clockwork: a closed auto­ nomous system ruled by endogenous factors of a highly selective nature, self-regulating and moving to a determinate, predictable point of equilibrium" (The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance (1984), Vol. 9, no. 33, pp. 335-360).

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