Garrett Hardin

Biografie şi Bibliografie

Garrett James Hardin (21 April 1915 – 14 September 2003) was a leading and controversial ecologist from Dallas, Texas, who warned of the dangers of overpopulation and whose concept of the tragedy of the commons brought attention to "the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment".  He was most well known for his elaboration of this theme in 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.


Hardin received a B.S. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1936 and a PhD in microbiology from Stanford University in 1941. Moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1946, he served there as Professor of Human Ecology from 1963 until his (nominal) retirement in 1978. He was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.

A major focus of his career, and one to which he returned repeatedly, was the issue of human overpopulation. This led to writings on controversial subjects such as abortion, which earned him criticism from the political right, and immigration and sociobiology, which earned him criticism from the political left. In his essays he also tackled subjects such as conservation and creationism.

In 1974 he published the article "Living on a Lifeboat" in BioScience magazine, arguing that contributing food to help the Ethiopian famine would add to overpopulation, which he considered the root of Ethiopia's problems.

In 1994 he was one of 52 signatories on "Mainstream Science on Intelligence," an editorial written by Linda Gottfredson and published in the Wall Street Journal, which declared the consensus of the signing scholars on issues related to race and intelligence following the publication of the book The Bell Curve.

Hardin, who suffered from a heart disorder, and his wife Jane, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease, were members of End-of-Life Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society (now Compassion & Choices), and believed in individuals choosing their own time to die. They committed suicide in their Santa Barbara home in September 2003, shortly after their 62nd wedding anniversary. He was 88 and she was 81.


    * 1965, Nature and Man's Fate New American Library. ISBN 0-451-61170-5
    * 1972, Exploring new ethics for survival: the voyage of the spaceship Beagle Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-30268-6
    * 1973, Stalking the Wild Taboo W. Kaufmann. ISBN 0-913232-03-3
    * 1977, The Limits of Altruism: an Ecologist's view of Survival Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-33435-7
    * 1980, Promethean Ethics: Living With Death, Competition, and Triage University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95717-4
    * 1982, Naked Emperors: Essays of a Taboo-Stalker William Kaufmann, Inc. ISBN 0-86576-032-2
    * 1985, Filters Against Folly, How to Survive despite Economists, Ecologists, and the Merely Eloquent Viking Penguin. ISBN 0-670-80410-X
    * 1993, Living Within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509385-2
    * 1999, The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-512274-7

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