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On the Travesty of the Tragedy of the Commons: Hardin's Nontrivial Error

Funk, Matt (2009): On the Travesty of the Tragedy of the Commons: Hardin's Nontrivial Error.

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Abstract

Garrett Hardin’s "Tragedy of the Commons" remains one of the most frequently cited works across the spectrum of science — indeed, a visit to the website of the influential journal which published this paper in 1968 reveals that this revolutionary communique remains amongst its ‘top articles’. But Hardin's enduring, influential theoretical development presents a serious problem: it is not a single theory, but rather four major theories in a stormy sea of ill-conceived and untenable auxiliary conjecture. Moreover, the solid core of Hardin's central thesis was simply a restatement of a previously published theory, the promethean vision of William Forster Lloyd.

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