A Philosopher's Guide to Natural Capitalism : A Sustainable Future Within Reach book cover
1st Edition

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

  • Available for pre-order on June 16, 2023. Item will ship after July 7, 2023
ISBN 9781032483467
July 7, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
360 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book posits that a sustainable future is possible without abandoning Capitalism. In its present 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, Wayne Henry 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 analyzed to understand why it has been so powerful and enduring, and, of course, why it is no longer appropriate for our present circumstances. In Part III, he investigates Classical Liberalism and globalized capitalism, the economic system it licenses, from a normative perspective. Finally, in the conclusion, Henry 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.




Table of Contents


CH.1: Introduction

Part I: Sustainability and Natural Capitalism

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

CH.3: Natural Capitalism: A hopeful alternative

CH.4: Natural Capitalism: The underlying narrative

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 vs. Progressive Liberalism and the Ideal State

CH.8: Corporate Governance and the Limits of Corporate 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





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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. He is also 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.