The love for humanity and for our Earth which pervades the book reflects a widespread groundswell in our society; the presentation of a new discipline, a new field of study, that would generate a truly responsible attitude toward our future, however, makes it unique.
Bioeconomics consists of a deep interpenetration, within a single course, of economic knowledge with knowledge about our biosphere — not only our air and water, but all living things residing in it, plants, animals, and humans, including their thoughts and their emotions. It is through these that bioeconomics differs from, and is superior to, ecological economics, which already exists. Ecology has been split off from biology and deals with only part of it. Bioconomics, which Dr. Mohammadian has taught in Spain since 1995, is more holistic and inclusive; ethical and aesthetic dimensions of the human experience are not left out.
Major weight is placed on a genuine interpenetration of both biology and economics, which are normally treated as mutually exclusive — even as incompatible. It is not sufficient that a student of economy, while absorbing all its principles, is also exposed to biology in a different course, and vice versa, each of the courses emphasizing contrasting aspects and often chanelling students into one field or the other one. Bioeconomics, to retain its essential interdisciplinarity, must be taught in the same course and by the same teacher. Economists must be convinced, from the very beginning, that resource depletion and waste management are factors which need to be included into their calculations; biologists that lofty ideals without practical means of implementation cannot succeed. The main thrust of the book, however, deals with holism, cooperation, and empathy.
The knowledge presented in the book is vast. In addition to economics, biology, ecology, and education, the author deals with systems theory and its relevance to bioeconomics, as well as with a wide variety of other relevant topics. Most of these cover the history and evolution of the field discussed and treat its relevance to our future from different perspectives.
Therefore, maximum benefit will be obtained, and any possible numbing effect through information-overload avoided, when the book is not read all at once, but selectively, choosing small parts at each session, and allowing plenty of time between them to enable the content to penetrate into one’s consciousness and mingle with one’s background experience. It has been said that no-one can be convinced by another person’s arguments unless he or she is already subconsciously in agreement with them and just needs their expression in words. On the other hand, the wellknown futurist Robert Theobald argued that «I have always learned most from discussions with persons who disagree with me.»
The book will appeal to both, those who search for expressions of their innermost sentiments, and those who search for the breakthrough of new thoughts. I have been able to benefit from either side.
To compensate for what I conceive as an overemphasis on holism, thorough arguments in favour of reductionism are generated: the impossibility to conduct science without it, the waste and cruelty of prescientific nature, and the thoughtless taking for granted of all recent benefits of science, by the very persons who rail against it. Both, reductionism and holism are needed, I believe, and must remain in balance.
On the other hand, I often encountered sentences I wish I could have writen myself. They occurred throughout the book, but most of all in Chapter. Six. Here ( on pp.184-186) it is argued repeatedly that Darwinian fitness includes co-operation. It wa always my belief that Darwin was misinterpreted and that “fitness” does not mean ruthlessness.
On the contrary, in a civilized society the person who fits best into his or her surroundings is one who cherishes integrity, honesty and empathy. As an enticement to read th book, I will quote two sentences from Chapter Six ( p.205) : “ It has always been thought that the best and most fulfilling human society is the one founded upon the principles of democracy, of plurality, free market activity and free communication media. The human society in the third millennium while maintaining these principles must, however, develop new principles too that will be in accordance with the biological, socioeconomic, ethical and environmental imperitives.”
ERIKA ERDMANN ; Publisher and Editor