Critiquing Sustainability, Changing Philosophy
Routledge – 2014 – 224 pages
To increasing numbers of people, sustainability is the key challenge of the twenty-first century. In the many fields where it is a goal, persistent problems obstruct the efforts of those trying to make a difference. The task of this book is to identify the philosophical failings underlying these problems, on the basis that the ways in which we conceptualise sustainability may contribute to, or alternately undermine vital projects.
Using a critical realist approach, this book identifies the defining aspects of sustainability in order to propose a criteria of adequacy for any project, initiative or policy. It includes the practical, political and ideological outcomes of the ways in which we frame and conceptualise sustainability, using real world examples. This innovative work demonstrates the positive contribution that can be made to this field by an approach based in critical realism or dialectical critical realism.
This very topical book will be a valuable source of information and debate for postgraduates and professionals with an interest in sustainability, critical realism or social systems.
Introduction 1. Starting Points 2. The Antropocene 3. Critiquing Models of Human Being for Sustainability 4. Towards a Philosophy for Earth System Science 5. Changing Material Practices: techne and technology 6. A Philosophy of Social Science for Sustainability? 7. Culture and Sustainability: 'what has postmodernism ever done for us?' 8. Philosophies for Sustainability: an analytic review 9. Sustainability - a school for freedom?
Jenneth Parker is Research Director at the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, UK