The Ecology of Law

The Ecology of Law

Number of page: 240
Author: Fritjof Capra, Ugo Mattei
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Category: Law

WINNER OF THE 2015 IBPA BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AWARD IN POLITICS/CURRENT EVENTSThe Ecology of Law Fritjof Capra and Ugo Mattei argue that at the root of many of the environmental, economic, and social crises we face today is a legal system based on an obsolete worldview. Capra, a bestselling author, physicist, and systems theorist, and Mattei, a distinguished legal scholar, explain how, by incorporating concepts from modern science, the law can become an integral part of bringing about a better world, rather than facilitating its destruction. This is the first book to trace the fascinating parallel history of law and science from antiquity to modern times, showing how the two disciplines have always influenced each other—until recently. In the past few decades, science has shifted from seeing the natural world as a kind of cosmic machine best understood by analyzing each cog and sprocket to a systems perspective that views the world as a vast network of fluid communities and studies their dynamic interactions. The concept of ecology exemplifies this approach. But law is stuck in the old mechanistic paradigm: the world is simply a collection of discrete parts, and ownership of these parts is an individual right, protected by the state. Capra and Mattei show that this has led to overconsumption, pollution, and a general disregard on the part of the powerful for the common good. Capra and Mattei outline the basic concepts and structures of a legal order consistent with the ecological principles that sustain life on this planet. This is a profound and visionary reconceptualization of the very foundations of the Western legal system, a kind of Copernican revolution in the law, with profound implications for the future of our planet.

About The Author

Fritjof Capra, PhD, is a founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California. He is a fellow of Schumacher College in England and serves on the council of Earth Charter International. He frequently gives management seminars for top executives. Capra is the author or coauthor of over ten books, including The Tao of Physics and The Web of Life.

Ugo Mattei is the Alfred and Hanna Fromm Professor of International and Comparative Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a professor of civil law at the University of Turin, Italy. He is active in the European Commons movement and has written academic articles and media commentary translated into many languages.


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    The Ecology of Law: Toward a Legal System in Tune with Nature and Community The modern-day legal system is seldom tied to current unsustainable ecological practices. Yet in this thoughtful treatise, co-authors Capra and Mattei show how tenets of western jurisprudence, such as private property rights and eminent domain, have eradicated older precepts. Natural resources were once considered \”commons\” that belonged to no one, to be shared by everyone. This older way of