Tragedy of the Commons Issues LO26952

From: Mark W. McElroy (
Date: 07/06/01

Replying to LO26946 --


Thank you for that. As I suspected all along, it was anthropocentricism
rearing its ugly selfish head once again. As long as we see the commons
as somehow something separate from us, a resource to be used wisely or
squandered foolishly, we are the commons and the tragedy is us.


Don Dwiggins wrote:

> >From Hardin's original article (found e.g., at
> We may well call it "the tragedy of the commons," using the word
> "tragedy" as the philosopher Whitehead used it [7]: "The essence of
> dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the
> remorseless working of things." He then goes on to say, "This
> inevitableness of destiny can only be illustrated in terms of human life
> by incidents which in fact involve unhappiness. For it is only by them
> that the futility of escape can be made evident in the drama."
> 7. A. N. Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (Mentor, New York, 1948),
> p. 17.


"Mark W. McElroy" <>

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