Evolution of Sustainability Thinking

In searching for an old paper of mine from 2004, I found this definition of sustainability. It was the first version that I had written down. No mention of flourishing, but I find it an interesting step away from the Brundtland definition of sustainable development. > Sustainability is a possible way of living or being in which individuals, firms, governments, and other institutions act responsibly in taking care of the future as if it belonged to them today, in equitably sharing the ecological resources on which the survival of human and other species depends, and in assuring that all who live today and in the future will be able to… Read More

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Finding Flourishing in Victorian England

I am taking a course at my school for retirees (read, old folks like me) on the roots of liberalism and am currently reading the works of John Stuart Mill, who remains a cornerstone for thinking about liberty. The class this week included a reading of Chapter 3, “Of individuality, as one of the elements of well-being, from On Liberty, his still in-print set of essays, originally published in 1859. This Chapter follows one in which he lays out his case for protecting freedom of expression and discussion. It is as valid today as it was in the 19th Century. Arguing that freedom of expression/thought is of little practical value… Read More

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More on Flourishing

I am back at work on a book, but finding a new structure for it. Both my previous books were basically critiques of the “modern” paradigm, that is, the set of beliefs and norms that has been driving much of Western culture for hundreds of years. I see unsustainability, a collection of persistent, significant problems, as evidence that this paradigm is no loner befitting of today’s world. I still strongly believe that this is the case, but have a new argument as well. I have come to see flourishing, not simply as an evocative normative vision, but as an element of human and other life forms’ ontological structure. It is… Read More

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Flourishing Has Roots in Reality

If you have been following my work, you know that the concept of flourishing popped up one day without any warning. The definition of sustainability that I started with some fifteen or so years ago was, “Sustainability is the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the planet forever.” The predicate of that sentence came out of my mouth during a training exercise and shaped my work for quite a few years. I have abandoned the conventional usage of sustainability in place of sustainability-as-flourishing, tying the endpoint to the emergence of a flourishing world. After much thinking and writing, I now believe that flourishing is more than just… Read More

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Still Around

I know I have been away from this blog for quite a while. I am working on the book that has hung around for much too long with good results. I will post here soon as I feel I have gotten the key thoughts down. One of my frequent source for posts is the oped columnists, but they are all preoccupied with the reality show called the nominating process. I find it is so far from my sense of what it should be that I cannot but turn away. For those who know I had a total knee replacement in late December, I am recovering very well. Pretty much into… Read More

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