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On sustainability and materiality. Homo faber, a new approach

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  • Ferraro, Emilia
  • Reid, Louise

Abstract

This paper explicitly engages with recent debates in Ecological Economics on what mode of humanity and person the sustainability project requires (e.g. Becker, 2006; Siebenhüner, 2000) and responds to calls to widen our understanding of the human being beyond homo economicus (e.g. Bina and Guedes Vaz, 2011). Using the example of the increasing attention to well-being, both within policy and academic circles, we seek to contribute to current critical considerations of ‘the sustainable person’ (Becker, 2010, 2012). We do this by incorporating often neglected perspectives from disciplines rooted in the Arts and Humanities – specifically anthropology and philosophy – introducing to debates on sustainability the notion of ‘homo faber’. Our aim is threefold: (1) to invite creative thinking about the role that materiality and practice play in the constitution of alternative notions of ‘being’; (2) to soften the anthropocentrism of western worldviews by considering the possibility of a different mode of humanity based upon “connection rather than separation, interdependence rather than autonomy” (Gibson-Graham, 2011:2), and (3) to encourage deeper reflection about the need for, and the challenge of interdisciplinary sustainability research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferraro, Emilia & Reid, Louise, 2013. "On sustainability and materiality. Homo faber, a new approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 125-131.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:96:y:2013:i:c:p:125-131
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2013.10.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Happiness: A Revolution in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262062771, May.
    2. Becker, Christian, 2006. "The human actor in ecological economics: Philosophical approach and research perspectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 17-23, November.
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    4. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    5. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2005. "Happiness Research: State and Prospects," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 63(2), pages 207-228.
    6. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Müller, Birgit & Quaas, Martin, 2008. "Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 384-393, October.
    7. Bina, Olivia & Vaz, Sofia Guedes, 2011. "Humans, environment and economies: From vicious relationships to virtuous responsibility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 170-178.
    8. Faber, Malte & Petersen, Thomas & Schiller, Johannes, 2002. "Homo oeconomicus and homo politicus in Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 323-333, March.
    9. Kirk Brown & Tim Kasser, 2005. "Are Psychological and Ecological Well-being Compatible? The Role of Values, Mindfulness, and Lifestyle," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 349-368, November.
    10. Kevin Hetherington, 2003. "Spatial textures: place, touch, and praesentia," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(11), pages 1933-1944, November.
    11. Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Beyond Homo economicus: evidence from experimental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 311-322, December.
    12. Bina, Olivia & La Camera, Francesco, 2011. "Promise and shortcomings of a green turn in recent policy responses to the “double crisis”," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2308-2316.
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:409-:d:130229 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kim, Ha Youn & Kwon, Yoo Jin, 2017. "Blurring production-consumption boundaries: Making my own luxury bag," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 120-125.

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