Chapter

Using Resources: The First‐Order Problem of Knowledge

Randy E. Barnett

in The Structure of Liberty

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198297291
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598777 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198297297.003.0002
Using Resources: The First‐Order Problem of Knowledge

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The first order problem of knowledge is identified as follows: In light of the multitude of individuals and associations, each with their own ever‐changing and potentially conflicting personal and local knowledge of potential resource use, how is it possible for individuals to act on the basis of their own personal knowledge and for individuals and associations to act on the basis of their own local knowledge without producing irreconcilable and destructive conflict over resource use? In making their decisions, how are individuals and associations somehow to take into account the ever‐changing and potentially conflicting personal and local knowledge of others, to which by definition they do not, and often cannot, have access? The concept of ‘subjective scarcity’ of physical resources is also discussed.

Keywords: associations; conflict; individuals; local knowledge; personal knowledge; problem of knowledge; resources; scarcity

Chapter.  5876 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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