Critiquing Sustainability, Changing Philosophy

By Jenneth Parker

© 2014 – Routledge

228 pages | 4 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415632560
pub: 2014-03-13
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

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 provide an overview of the current state of philosophy in the context of what philosophy is, could be or should be – in relation to sustainability and the human future on Earth. The book is conceived as a contribution to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, helping to link work on philosophy and sustainability.

Critiquing Sustainability, Changing Philosophy focusses on the importance of philosophical work to the formation and effectiveness of global civil society and social movements for sustainability in the context of the Anthropocene age of the Earth. It takes a transdisciplinary systems approach that challenges philosophy and concludes by proposing a greatly enhanced role for philosophy in contributing to global public reason for sustainability.

This book will be of interest to philosophers, sustainability practitioners and thinkers, policy makers and all those engaged in the global movement for sustainability.


"Overall, Parker deserves great credit for suggesting ways in which philosophy can contribute to sustainability research. Indeed, I very much welcome the aspiration to utilize philosophy not only to critique the foundations of such research (where this is called for) but also to strengthen transdisciplinary research. As profound socio-economic changes to make the societies in the overdeveloped part of the world environmentally sustainable are more urgently needed than ever, I hope that Critiquing Sustainability will be widely read among philosophers."Journal of Critical Realism, Hubert Buch-Hansen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Table of Contents

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?

About the Author

Jenneth Parker is Research Director at the Schumacher Institute for Sustainable Systems, UK

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainability

Sustainability has become one of the most pressing social, environmental, economic, cultural and political issues of our times. Yet the meaning of ‘sustainability’ remains elusive.

This series provides original insights from across the social sciences and humanities on the meaning and practice of sustainability. It offers both theoretical and practical analysis of ‘sustainability’, including social sustainability, sustainable consumption, democratic sustainability and sustainable behaviour.

These interdisciplinary books give students, researchers, policy makers and practitioners the latest thinking from international authors. This thought-provoking series draws on and is relevant to those working in a wide-range of disciplines, including environment, development, sociology, politics, philosophy, business and marketing, media, geography, and anthropology.

To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan (

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCIENCE / Environmental Science