Inderscience Publishers

Commentary: industrial ecology – seen from a philosophical point of view. Its break with the Baconian programme

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Sustainable Development (SD), sometimes called a metafix, (Lele, 1991) signifies technology innovation as well as social progress and provides a framework for Industrial Ecology (IE). IE is a rather new approach with a modest theoretical tradition. Therefore, the following contribution presents some conceptual premises and the idea-historical background of IE. We argue that IE differs from the old Baconian programme, one of the starting points for the industrial revolution, e.g., in the principle that technology has its limitations and can not replace the biosphere. In practice this means, among others, to minimise the use of resources by closing materials cycles and to minimise harmful impact to the environment through proper Design for the Environment. IE provides an opportunity for sustainable ways of production and consumption. The concept should, however, not be limited to physical and technological phenomena, but it must comprise an ethical approach to nature. The following paper attempts to illustrate this possibility as well.

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