Note hardin's words: Explicitly or implicitly, more or less consciously, he (each herdsman) asks, "What is the utility to me of adding one more animal to my herd?" Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all (Hardin, 1968,.1244). Clearly hardin proves that when people in any finite biosystem accept the modern economic ideal of steadily increasing their wealth and consumption, a collapse of the commons which sustains them is inevitable. But Hardin's proof applies only to a special case. In this passage, he ties individual behavior too closely in with the way of life found in modern industrialized societies. That is, he assumes that human behavior is determined by the commonly unquestioned assumption, namely, that the goal of all individuals is to improve the quality of their lives by steadily increasing their wealth and their consumption of goods and services within a free market. Tragedies of the commons, however, can have more general causes.
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When they are removed, his argument can be given a more general statement, namely, that human behavior (whether it is thought to be grounded in economic self-interest or in the tom traditional moral ideal of self-denying altruism, in conservatism or liberalism, or in religious or secular. Because continual growth is impossible in any finite domain, they all lead to the tragedy of the commons. One restrictive assumption is that reason entails specific factual conclusions about human behavior. It requires, hardin says, that "As a rational being, each herdsman seeks to maximize his gain" (Hardin, 1968,. By immediate inference, hardin's claim can be restated in a logically equivalent form: "Any herdsman or person who does not seek to maximize his (monetary) gain is irrational." But clearly this assumption about the nature of reason is false: reason can make no factual claims. In fact some people, who reason correctly, reason from different premises. They may choose to live simply so as to meet the needs of life with the least effort and with the least damaging impact on the environment. For such persons, simplicity and frugality can afford a better life because they allow more opportunity for leisure, for cultural or social activity, and for intellectual development. Such individuals may have no concern or interest in maximizing their material gain. One cannot assume, as Hardin does, that reason makes rational individuals seek any specific factual goals. Another restrictive assumption is that individual self-interest is identified with certain modern conventions about private property, individual freedom, and the utility of maximizing wealth in the free market system.
But, i believe, he has made some unnecessary assumptions. For example, his assumption of individualism and the free market system and his proof of the necessity of some form of societal coercion allows many liberals, humanists, religious leaders, and defenders of democracy (whose never-questioned moral and political convictions take no account of biological principles. Again his concern gender about over-population allows some people to accuse him of disregarding the environmental damage caused by wealthy nations and their run-away system of production and consumption. By pinning on him epithets like "racist "elitist "self-centered egoist "capitalist "fascist and "apologist for private property these critics find easy excuses for disregarding what is disturbing and revolutionary in Hardin's essay. Misdirected charges allow people to disregard the essential thesis, namely, that physical and biological determinants limit the range of options available for moral and political life. Three assumptions seem to me to be unnecessary and restrictive. And they are not essential to hardin's fundamental thesis.
In both cases, the thought experiment concerns only the inconsistency of an imaginary but possible state-of-affairs. Neither one makes a historical or a factual statement. Specifically, hardin's thought experiment with an imaginary commons demonstrates the futility - the absurdity - of much traditional ethical thinking. The sad fate of the imaginary commons on which people pasture their herds proves that moral principles can be refuted by facts - the consequences caused when people live by those principles. It shows that if any ethics makes it advantageous for individuals or groups to increase their demands on the biological commons while it forces everyone to share equally the damage which that behavior causes, then the demise of the whole - the ecosystem which supports. Surely such an ethics is absurd. It refutes itself in the sense that it requires or allows ethical behavior which denies the possibility of further ethical behavior. Part II: Three assumptions which divert Attention from Hardin's Thesis Hardin's argument is of great importance and is powerfully persuasive.
Whats a good thesis statement about independence?
It shows that the first necessary condition for acceptable moral behavior is to avoid the tragedy of the commons. Inevitably, meeting this goal requires holistic or coerced restraint in order to assure that people never fail to live within the narrow limits of the land and resource use which the earth's biosystem can sustain. Thus people's first moral duty is to live as responsible and sustaining members of the world's community of living things. Part I: The Theoretic Nature of the Tragedy of the commons Because the tragedy of the commons is written in everyday language, people overlook its theoretic nature. Mistakenly, i believe, some critics assume that the essay is talking about an actual commons. Such criticisms, however, are completely beside the point that Hardin is making.
They confuse a proof of incoherence within a system of thought with a factual claim which they consider to be false. By contrast Hardin's essay can best be understood as a thought experiment. It proves that the unquestioned assumptions of modern ethical thinking are self-refuting; hence they must be revised or discarded. Indeed Hardin's innovative argument in ethics is analogous to the thought experiment which Einstein used to demonstrate a contradiction within the set of assumptions that define newtonian physics. To resolve that contradiction Einstein proposed the special theory of relativity. It should be noted that Einstein's thought experiment cannot be refuted by showing that no train could ever essay be engineered to travel in a euclidean straight line at near the speed of light. Similarly hardin's experiment cannot be refuted by showing that no simple commons could ever exist in which villagers maximize their personal gain by steadily increasing the size of their herds - until they destroy the commons which supports them.
This book is the result (Hardin, 1972,. I believe, however, that Hardin's essay not only requires the "repudiation" of certain ethical beliefs but it also requires the rejection of the whole paradigm on which the ethical and political thinking of the western world is based. By showing that factual evidence can refute systems of ethical belief, the tragedy of the commons repudiates the a priori method which has long been used to justify ethical principles and obligations. By implication it repudiates the purely linguistic distinction between value and fact, that is, it denies that value claims and factual claims belong to such distinctly different domains that they cannot interact. It also denies that human rights are universal, and that specific moral laws and principles make unconditional demands on all mankind. Specifically, the tragedy of the commons demonstrates that all behavior which is either morally permissible or morally required is system-sensitive whenever it involves the use of land or the transfer of matter or energy.
That is, it is conditional on the size of the human population and the availability of material resources. The more general statement of Hardin's tragedy of the commons which follows is divided into five sections. In the first, the theoretic nature of Hardin's argument is emphasized. In the second, several of Hardin's original assumptions are shown to be restrictive and unnecessary. The third offers four general premises which seem empirically certain. The fourth gives a general statement of the human causes of the breakdown of the commons. It demonstrates the same inbuilt contradiction between what benefits the individual or the human species and what is necessary to the welfare of the whole. The fifth part concerns ethical theory.
Writing a good thesis statement for an analytical essay
Hardin himself fully understood the difficulty of his task. In the preface of Exploring New Ethics for Survival (1972 he wrote, for too long have we supposed that technology would solve the "population problem." It won't. I first became fully aware of this hard truth when I wrote my essay "The Tragedy of the commons. Never have i found anything so difficult to work into shape. I wrote at least seven significantly different versions before resting content with this one. It was obvious that the internal resistance to what I found myself saying was terrific. As a scientist I wanted to find a scientific solution; night but reason inexorably led me to conclude that the population problem could not possibly be solved without repudiating certain ethical beliefs and altering some of the political and economic arrangements of contemporary society (Hardin, 1972. And a bit later shredder on in the same preface, he adds, As I set about securing the logical bases of my argument I was led. To go farther and farther back both in time and in logic to make the structure of the argument clear.
The ethical implications of the earth's finitude are made clear in stuff one of the world's great essays. The author conducts a simple-seeming thought experiment in which he proves that any ethics is mistaken if it allows a growing population steadily to increase its exploitation of the ecosystem which supports. Such an ethics is incoherent because it leads to the destruction of the biological resources on which survival depends; it lets people act in ways that make all further ethical behavior impossible. The essay in which this fundamental flaw in modern Western moral thinking is demonstrated is Garrett Hardin's "The Tragedy of the commons" (1968). Activists in environmental causes as well as professionals in ethics have long applauded Hardin's essay. But then they go on to ignore its central thesis. They accept the environmental goals and then, acting as if the essay had never been written, recommend behavior which will cause the environmental commons to collapse. Consequently hardin's refutation of traditional moral thinking still seems to be not understood. And the need remains to give the tragedy of the commons a more general statement - one which can clarify its revolutionary character, one which can convince a wide public of the correctness of its method and principles.
February 26, 1997, herschel Elliott. Emeritus Philosophy, university of Florida, gainesville, fl 32611l, almost everyone recognizes that we must preserve our national heritage - our parks and wildlife, our farms, our wetlands and forests. And few dare to doubt that equal justice and universal human rights are essential axioms of morality. Simultaneously people accept the necessity of protecting the environment and they also assume the moral obligation that every human being has an equal right to health, education, and employment, regardless of where a person is born or from where that person is fleeing hardship. To satisfy these demands it becomes a moral necessity to create more jobs, to build more housing, to expand the infrastructure, to produce more food and water, and to provide more sanitation, health care, and educational facilities. The only problem is that success in attaining these worthy goals is possible only in an infinite world where no conflict need ever arise between individual, societal, and environmental needs. Only stubborn and muddled thinkers, however, can make believe that the world is infinite. The delusion of its infinity blinds them to the fact that all human activity must take place within the narrow range of resource use that the earth can sustain.
Then it proposes a system-sensitive ethics that can prevent tragedy. The general statement of the tragedy of the commons demonstrates that an a priori ethics constructed on human-centered, moral principles and a definition of equal justice cannot prevent and indeed always supports growth in population and consumption. Such growth, though not inevitable, is a constant threat. If continual growth should ever occur, it eventually causes the breakdown of the ecosystems which thesis support civilization. Henceforth, any viable ethics must satisfy these related requirements: (1) An acceptable system of ethics is contingent on its ability to preserve the ecosystems which sustain. (2) biological necessity has a veto over the behavior which any set of moral beliefs can allow or require. (3) biological success is a necessary (though not a sufficient) condition for any acceptable ethical theory.
Thesis, statement, for, night by elie wiesel
A general Statement of the Tragedy of the. Commons click here, an Abstract of "a general Statement of Hardin's. Tragedy of the commons although "The Tragedy of the commons" is widely acclaimed, activists in environmental causes as well as professionals in ethics continue to with act as if the essay had never been written. They ignore the central thesis that traditional, a priori thinking in ethics is mistaken and must be discarded. Hence the need remains to give the tragedy of the commons a more general statement-one which can convince a wide public of the correctness of its method and principles. In essence hardin's essay is a thought experiment. Its purpose is not to make a historical statement but rather to demonstrate that tragic consequences can follow from practicing mistaken moral theories.