The study of economies needs to be fundamentally reworked. The dominant approach has been in a pre-scientific state, akin to medicine before Pasteur. It has not even been in a state comparable to Ptolemaic astronomy, which did make usefully quantified predictions of planetary positions in the sky.
We need to return to fundamental questions. What is the nature of an economy? What is the purpose of an economy? How does an economy relate to the larger society and natural world in which it is embedded? In this book a conception is sketched out that can accommodate not only economic phenomena but the social and natural processes with which they are inextricably entwined.
It is urgently necessary that the currently dominant competitive, free market, neoclassical economic mode be replaced, because it is incompatible with living things at every level: philosophical, theoretical and practical. As a result it is destroying our life support system, and many of us with it. The free-market mode persists in part because of fundamental misconceptions of how unfettered markets work. It is a matter of survival that we better understand this and other possible economic systems, and that we find systems that will nurture human and other life. Fortunately, healthy alternatives are available.