Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Living Within Limits” as Want to Read:
Living Within Limits
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Living Within Limits

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  155 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
We fail to mandate economic sanity, " writes Garrett Hardin, "because our brains are addled by...compassion." With such startling assertions, Hardin has cut a swathe through the field of ecology for decades, winning a reputation as a fearless and original thinker. A prominent biologist, ecological philosopher, and keen student of human population control, Hardin now offers ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 6th 1995 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Living Within Limits, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Living Within Limits

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Richard Reese
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Garrett Hardin (1915-2003) was famous for an essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, written in 1968. He thought that folks who kept their cattle on common lands had little concern for the condition of the pasture, while private pastures befitted from the careful stewardship of wise ranchers. In 1998, in response to critics, he published The Tragedy of the Commons — Extension, in which admitted that a better title for his essay would have been The Tragedy of the Unmanaged Commons.

I was unsure of his
...more
Samuel Peck
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting and, at times, strange book. Hardin asks some hard questions about some hard truths and does not shy away from societal taboos.

Hardin is/was a real multidisciplinary thinker who has obviously spent a lot of time thinking about overpopulation, one of the main causes, in my opinion, of many of today's problems which include environmental damage. Could see why Charlie Munger had recommended this book, given his support for multidisciplinary thinking.

The book is packed w
...more
Jim
Apr 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is an engaging, iconoclastic, and well-written book. Even when I did not agree with Hardin's position, I still appreciated the vigor of his argument. To get a sense how this argument runs, here are excerpts from a summary of the book I am writing for one of my urban planning classes.

......

Hardin argues that four centuries of technological progress have blinded us to resource limits. ...

Hardin cites perpetual motion machines and compound interest as examples of this faith. Inventor after inv
...more
Laszlo
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hardin vezette be az okologia koceptumjat a kozgazdasag melle. Tulpopulaciorol ir, hogy nincsen szabadulas a foldrol tehat a problemat vagy mi oldjuk meg vagy pedig, mivel a populaciot negativ feed-back rendszer szabalyozza (amit o Malthusi demostatnak nevez) felprobal hivni a problema fontossagara es felelossegre szolit fel. Megoldast nem ad, mint mindenki o is leirja hogy vagy mi emberiseg jovunk egy megoldassal, vagy pedig a fold a sajar megoldasaival fogja megoldani a tulpopulaciot, azaz ehs ...more
Mark
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those who understand that overpopulation is the number one environmental threat, Garrett Hardin is author that they will eventually land upon to clarify their main arguments. Hardin is famous (or infamous depending upon your viewpoint) for his philosophical arguments concerning ecology, economy and population: the three go together. Hardin sums up what we all know either consciously or unconsciously. His book, while thorough and easy to read, is solid, leaving no ground unbroken.
Living Withi
...more
Alan
We used Living within Limits as a book in our virtual reading group.
Heath Ochroch
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Resources increase arithmetically, populations increase geometrically. This is a Big problem.

It is considered morally wrong to limit the amount of children one may have. This may sound like the way it has always been, but there has not always been a welfare system to feed every child born. In the 1700s, a woman was free to have 10 kids, but only two might actually survive to produce children of their own.

Population can be thought of like a thermostat. When populations get too high, wars, famine
...more
Pontaeus
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best under-the-radar books I've read. Makes me question why both Mr Hardin and his work isn't better known worldwide.
It's a truly rational and thoughtprovoking account on ecology; the effect overpopulation and poor human rationale has on the economy, politics, the environment, etc.
So much wisdom, should really be compulsory reading in schools worldwide.
Hazem
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book belongs to the general subject of ecology and under the subheading of population studies. It seems to address the general readership with an interest in ecology, demography and economics. The book appeaes well paced and thoroughly indexed. It has insightful graphs and an enlightening anthology of literature of special relevance to the matter at hand. Highly recommended.
Jared
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very challenging book to read in terms of content, but this is what I think makes it a great book. I personally found the flow of the chapters at the beginning difficult to follow due to the style of writing but this got better throughout the book.
Sebastian
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Great book about the interdependency of ecology and economics!
Srinivas
Sep 01, 2009 marked it as to-read
By the author of that epic paper "The Tragedy of the Commons".

Ref:http://www.deeshaa.org/2009/09/01/loo...
Frank
rated it it was amazing
Jul 28, 2015
Rocco Shicone
rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2008
Bolin Zhou
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2016
Sakari Timonen
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2017
Bill
rated it liked it
Feb 05, 2017
Snecma
rated it it was amazing
Aug 22, 2016
Caress Tayo
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2014
Matt Backes
Interesting perspective from an ecologist's point of view. Do we have too many kids? Do we consume too many materials? Good questions to reflect and make personal answers.
Bmcnett
rated it it was amazing
May 13, 2011
Isaac Wang
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2011
Koko
rated it liked it
Sep 29, 2011
Wolfgang Bas
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2017
Mike
rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2015
Robert Hult
rated it really liked it
Sep 26, 2013
Maciej Gałkiewicz
rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2018
Prashanth Jnanendra
rated it really liked it
Sep 29, 2018
Landon
rated it liked it
Mar 30, 2017
Sebastian Lopez Sanson
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ice Age
  • Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information
  • A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and U niverse
  • Models of My Life
  • The Warren Buffett Portfolio: Mastering the Power of the Focus Investment Strategy
  • No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • The Theory of Evolution
  • The Insect Societies
  • Indiscrete Thoughts
  • John Von Neumann
  • The New Ambidextrous Universe
  • Fiasco: The Inside Story of a Wall Street Trader
  • Damn Right!: Behind the Scenes with Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger
  • Emergence: From Chaos To Order
  • The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor
  • The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason, and Byron's Daughter
  • Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics: The 1986 Dirac Memorial Lectures
29 followers
Garrett James Hardin was a leading and controversial ecologist from Dallas, Texas, who was most well known for his 1968 paper, The Tragedy of the Commons. He is also known for Hardin's First Law of Ecology, which states "You cannot do only one thing", and used the familiar phrase "Nice guys finish last" to sum up the "selfish gene" concept of life and evolution.
“The mathematics of biological reproduction is logically identical with the mathematics of usury. Money earns interest, animals have babies. In” 0 likes
“It is now widely believed (and, I think, correctly believed) that the survival of a nation under modern competitive conditions depends on broadening the electorate’s competency in numerate matters. Numeracy” 0 likes
More quotes…