On the Gestation of Externalities: Time in Economic Activity

JC remarked, after the ninth Discussion, "I left the conversation with my mind wrapped/warped around the idea of time's impact on rating a decision as sholom promoting or defeating. During a later conversation with Chancie (my wife) I was struck with this idea, what if there is a 'gestational' period of the acts of a decision on how it generates a 'birth' of shalom or a birth of chaos."

He then sent the following:

"By examining the supply chain of an economically generating system/endeavor, we could examine the knock on effects of that supply chain or system across the aspects to show through time how monetarily generative activity promotes or diminishes shalom in other spheres [aspects] of creation, justice, aesthetic, pistic.

This period of time analysis is a gestational period of examination of how economic activity creates activity in other spheres that have in the past been labeled as externalities.

By examining these externalities as inherent results of the economic activity, we could examine the trans-spherical [multi-aspectual] positivity or negative impact of economic decisions that involve environment, the sanctity of life, the beauty of creation and other items traditionally outside of what has been historically defined as economic activity."

So here we have a suggestion of how we not only deal with externalities, not only how we deal with their different kinds, but how we address the dynamic gestation and birth of such externalities. Thank you, J+C.

To systematize this, we can make use of Dooyeweerd's ideas of aspects and time, which are already well developed philosophically.


This page is part of the Discussions on the 2020 Reith Lectures.

Created 1 August 2021. Last updated: