Reviews

Reviews 226 DESROCHERS rules as those governing the systems in nature? The answer given by one of the characters is straightforward: “I’m convinced that economic life is ruled by processes and principles we didn’t invent and can’t transcend, whether we like that or not, and that the more we learn of these processes and the better we respect them, the better our economies will get along” (p. 11). Jacobs’ characters then discuss in the following chapters such processes as development, expansion, self-refueling, evading collapse, fitness for survival and unpredictability. Devel- opment, whether in nature or in economies, is thus best viewed as an open-ended process by which differentiations emerge from generality, which then become other generalities from which further differentiations emerge. Such development depends, however, on numerous, various, and intricate co-development relationships. For example, tool making began with four existing generalities: sticks, stones, bones and fire. Our ancestors then differentiated those found generalities into many things from hammers to scrapers and bags, innovations that required the fusion of other, originally unrelated, innovations. Expansion, whether natural or economic, then depends on capturing and using transient energy. The more different means a system possesses for recapturing, using, and passing around energy before http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals
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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1007868804591
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

226 DESROCHERS rules as those governing the systems in nature? The answer given by one of the characters is straightforward: “I’m convinced that economic life is ruled by processes and principles we didn’t invent and can’t transcend, whether we like that or not, and that the more we learn of these processes and the better we respect them, the better our economies will get along” (p. 11). Jacobs’ characters then discuss in the following chapters such processes as development, expansion, self-refueling, evading collapse, fitness for survival and unpredictability. Devel- opment, whether in nature or in economies, is thus best viewed as an open-ended process by which differentiations emerge from generality, which then become other generalities from which further differentiations emerge. Such development depends, however, on numerous, various, and intricate co-development relationships. For example, tool making began with four existing generalities: sticks, stones, bones and fire. Our ancestors then differentiated those found generalities into many things from hammers to scrapers and bags, innovations that required the fusion of other, originally unrelated, innovations. Expansion, whether natural or economic, then depends on capturing and using transient energy. The more different means a system possesses for recapturing, using, and passing around energy before

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 8, 2004

References

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