The Tragedy of the Commons Science 13, December At the end of a thoughtful article on the future of nuclear war, J.
The author is professor of biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.
This article is based on a presidential address presented before the meeting of the Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science at Utah State University, Logan, 25 June At the end of a thoughtful article on the future of nuclear war, Wiesner and York 1 concluded that: It is our considered professional judgment that this dilemma has no technical solution.
If the great powers continue to look for solutions in the area of science and technology only, the result will be to worsen the situation. An implicit and almost universal assumption of discussions published in professional and semipopular scientific journals is that the problem under discussion has a technical solution.
A technical solution may be defined as one that requires a change only in the techniques of the natural sciences, demanding little or nothing in the way of change in human values or ideas of morality.
In our day though not in earlier times technical solutions are always welcome. Because of previous failures in prophecy, it takes courage to assert that a desired technical solution is not possible.
Wiesner and York exhibited this courage; publishing in a science journal, they insisted that the solution to the problem was not to be found in the natural sciences. They cautiously qualified their statement with the phrase, "It is our considered professional judgment.
Rather, the concern here is with the important concept of a class of human problems which can be called "no technical solution problems," and, more specifically, with the identification and discussion of one of these.
It is easy to show that the class is not a null class. Recall the game of tick-tack-toe. Consider the problem, "How can I win the game of tick-tack-toe? Put another way, there is no "technical solution" to the problem. I can win only by giving a radical meaning to the word "win.
Every way in which I "win" involves, in some sense, an abandonment of the game, as we intuitively understand it. I can also, of course, openly abandon the game--refuse to play it. This is what most adults do.
The class of "No technical solution problems" has members. My thesis is that the "population problem," as conventionally conceived, is a member of this class. How it is conventionally conceived needs some comment. It is fair to say that most people who anguish over the population problem are trying to find a way to avoid the evils of overpopulation without relinquishing any of the privileges they now enjoy.
They think that farming the seas or developing new strains of wheat will solve the problem--technologically. I try to show here that the solution they seek cannot be found.
The population problem cannot be solved in a technical way, any more than can the problem of winning the game of tick-tack-toe. What Shall We Maximize? Population, as Malthus said, naturally tends to grow "geometrically," or, as we would now say, exponentially.
In a finite world this means that the per capita share of the world's goods must steadily decrease. Is ours a finite world?We invite you to become active in the BHS-PTO community.
Join one of our many educational, community, and fundraising committees. Contact your class reps for . kaja-net.com (GSO) is a free, public website providing information and resources necessary to help meet the educational needs of students.
There is something powerfully raw and vivid about Hannah Arendt’s essay that came out in the midst of Europe’s darkness in the Second World War, before the worst horrors inflicted upon the Jews were fully unveiled. Originally published in January as “We Refugees” in a small Jewish journal called Menorah (shut down in ), .
John Locke (—) John Locke was among the most famous philosophers and political theorists of the 17 th century. He is often regarded as the founder of a school of thought known as British Empiricism, and he made foundational contributions to modern theories of limited, liberal government.
HOW TO BEHAVE IN CLASS A classroom is a learning environment and should be treated as such. is stamped with the brand of a class.’ In this essay we will be discussing the affect class conflict has on society from the .
January (I wrote this talk for a high school. I never actually gave it, because the school authorities vetoed the plan to invite me.) When I said I was speaking at a high school, my friends were curious.