Bring on the ‘soft’ sciences: Exploring implications of grounding life cycle methods in three socio-material philosophies
Paper in proceedings, 2013
By not separating product flows from management, we target the little studied problem of how different management practices actually influence the environment. We test the socio-material philosophies actor-network theory, object-oriented ontology and agential realism on the life cycle assessment (LCA) cases bread and cement, through three examples. We conclude that socio-materiality point out that managers could benefit from an increased contextual understanding of the material and energy flows that their decisions influence. For LCA analysts, it highlights that including actual practices and action networks of people handling the flows could be useful for reaching effective use of LCA flow model results.
philosophy of science