Inderscience Publishers

Changing technology perceptions

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Industrial Ecology (IE) offers a systems approach to the analysis of materials and energy flows, based upon an analogy of ecological and industrial systems. The goal is to transfer the principles of natural ecological systems into an industrial context. What seemed straightforward in the beginning implies, however, an ambivalence that culminates in the question whether IE is a natural science and technology-determined concept, or if it implies a normative potential and thus has to be coupled with social sciences and political decision-making. This paper explores connections between both views within an analytical framework based upon Aristotelian philosophy. The framework consists of a constellation of activities – theoria (knowledge), praxis (action) and poesis (production), it shows changes of the importance of activities in different time spans and indicates phenomena of these changes. The objective of this analysis is to document IE's capability to connect different subsystems and to show how an interdisciplinary epistemology could advance the concept.

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