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The Limits to Certainty


Hardcover Published: 30th April 1993
ISBN: 9780792321675
Number Of Pages: 271

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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.

List of figures
Introductionp. 1
In Search of Progress: From "The Limits to Growth" To "The Limits to Certainty"p. 1
Three Major Issues in Reconstructing an Image of the Futurep. 3
Uncertainty: the Condition for Reconstructing the Futurep. 7
The New Battleground for Risk-Taking: The Service Economyp. 11
The Legacy of the Industrial Revolutionp. 11
The Limits of the Industrial Revolutionp. 23
The "Service" Economyp. 40
Value and Time in the Service Economy: the Notion of Utilizationp. 65
Social Strategy in the Service Economyp. 97
Facing Social Uncertainty: Towards a New Social Policy in the Service Economyp. 129
Basic Issuesp. 129
Towards the Fourth Pillar: Trendsp. 141
The Fourth Pillar in some OECD Countries: From Evidence to Potentialp. 157
Producing the Wealth of Nations; the Risk Takers and the Supply-side of the Economy. The Dynamics of Disequilibriump. 185
Producingp. 185
Production Cyclesp. 197
The Role of Demandp. 207
Equilibrium vs Non-Equilibriump. 212
Accounting for Value in the Service Economyp. 220
The Problem of Demarcation in Economicsp. 231
At the Roots of Uncertaintyp. 243
Risk, Uncertainty and the Individualp. 243
A Dialogue: Founding the Secretariat for Uncertaintyp. 256
Bibliographyp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780792321675
ISBN-10: 0792321677
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 271
Published: 30th April 1993
Publisher: Springer
Country of Publication: NL
Dimensions (cm): 25.4 x 17.15  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.66
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised