1st Edition

A Philosopher's Guide to Natural Capitalism A Sustainable Future Within Reach

By Wayne I. Henry Copyright 2024
    304 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book posits that a sustainable future is possible without abandoning Capitalism. In its current form as Consumer Capitalism, the organization of the global economy is clearly unsustainable. But Capitalism is a malleable concept that has assumed a variety of forms since the 17th century, and it can be altered as needed.

    In Part I of this book, the author sets out an economic model for a sustainable form of Capitalism, referred to in the literature as Natural Capitalism. In Part II, he abandons exposition in favour of rigorous philosophical analysis and critiques the older but still dominant narrative that underlies Classical Liberalism. The narrative will be reconstructed with great care and analysed to understand why it has been so powerful and enduring, and, of course, why it is no longer appropriate for our current circumstances. In Part III, he investigates from a normative perspective Classical Liberalism and globalized Capitalism and the economic system it licenses. Finally, in the conclusion, the author draws the threads of the discussion together in a way that emphasizes the differences between the two narratives, Classical Liberalism on the one hand and the contemporary version of Progressive Liberalism that nurtures and supports Natural Capitalism on the other.

    This book will be of interest to a broad range of scholars and curious laypersons interested in a clear and interdisciplinary presentation of the issues arising out of climate change, including corporate governance, social and environmental policy, declining social capital and the capacity of democratic institutions to deal effectively with sustainability. It will be particularly relevant for students and instructors of philosophy, history, economics, political science, social policy and environmental sociology.



    CH.1: Overview and Plan of the Book

    Part I: Sustainability and Natural Capitalism

    CH.2: Genuine sustainability and what it will require of us

    CH.3: Natural Capitalism

    CH.4: The Narrative of Natural Capitalism

    Part II: Classical Liberalism: The Conceptual Foundations of Consumer Capitalism

    CH.5: John Locke and the Theory of Private Property

    CH.6: Adam Smith and the Laissez-Faire Market

    CH.7: Contrasting Visions: Classical versus Progressive Liberalism and the Ideal State

    CH.8: Corporate Governance and the Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility 

    Part III: Classical Liberalism Through a Normative Lens

    CH.9: Consequentialist Moral Theories

    CH.10: Kantian Duty Theory and the Deontological Normative Tradition

    CH.11: Concluding remarks






    Wayne I. Henry is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, Canada, where since 2009 he has taught courses in logic, the history of analytic philosophy and a course in business, globalization and sustainability. The ideas that inspired the development of this last course also inspired this book. Also, he is a lecturer in philosophy at Langara College in Vancouver, Canada, where he has taught business ethics for many years. Wayne has published in the areas of consumerism, globalized Capitalism and about establishing reasoned discourse with the "unreasonable," among others. He has for a long time been active in the animal welfare movement and activities in Vancouver area.

    "A Philosopher’s Guide to Natural Capitalism: A Sustainable Future Within Reach is a philosophical re-conception of capitalism and a profound rethinking of the movement of capitalism from classic liberalism to progressive liberalism to natural capitalism."