File Size: 3243 KB
Print Length: 166 pages
Publisher: Stanford Business Books; 1 edition (May 15, 2013)
Publication Date: May 15, 2013
JE sometimes comes up with a few very apt "sound-bite" formulations, such as the Brundtland report portrayal above, or that inch[T]he prevailing idea that I am what I own stands securely in the way regarding any sort of redistribution" (sc. from rich nations to poorer ones, @72). He brings critiques regarding consumption down to earth when he notes tersely that "Consumption is a good essential part of life. Amoebas consume. All life consumes. "(Id. ) Nevertheless the frequency of such verbal nuggets, and regarding practical illustrations, tapers out somewhat toward the end from the book, where the the level of the discussion tends to be very philosophical and general. I concede, though, that maybe one reason the publication takes that turn is usually to provide a salutary shock to some readers, by demonstrating that a good MIT engineer who recommends businesses can however take into account philosophy to be very important.
I found myself inside agreement with JE significantly more often than not necessarily. But I confess he began to lose myself when he emphasized the contributions of Martin Heidegger to his view, which includes crediting Heidegger as the pioneer of bringing Caring into philosophy (@89). Heidegger joined the Nazi Party in 1933, remained a new member throughout the Second World War, never expressed regret with regard to his involvement, and without a doubt was still being writing in a good ultra-nationalistic, Nazi-era rhetorical style more than decade following the war ended. To become fair, the work regarding Heidegger on which U relies, "Being and Period, " was written inside the late 1920s, in addition to JE mentions that he himself is Jewish in addition to that Heidegger is "controversial. " Nonetheless, it was somewhat discomfiting to see his paraphrase of Heidegger in order to the effect that "who we are... is determined by the culture we all live in.... Each person becomes whoever they are usually by learning from in addition to current inside a culture that embodies and endows that human being with the knowledge of the world that it takes to live effectively. To me [i. e., JE], that may be getting to the essence of sustainability-as-flourishing. " (@26. ) Decontextualized from the rest of Heidegger's life perhaps this can sound benign or insightful, nevertheless it's hard to neglect that Heidegger clearly believed that one particular tradition was superior to others. There is a faint from-the-sublime-to-the-ridiculous echo of the Heidegger/"Caring" dissonance when U elsewhere describes "fishing because love" (@8). JE constantly releases (at least a few of) the fish he catches -- but rather than painfully hooking them, tugging them out of the water and suffocating all of them for a while, and then throwing them back wounded in addition to terrified, wouldn't it end up being at least as loving simply to leave the fish alone? Or will the lovingness consist in helping the fish experience the "authenticity [that] springs from anxiety inside the face of loss of life, " another paraphrase through Heidegger (@95)?
There was one point that troubled me even more, however: the discussion of the name word itself. Andrew Hoffman, JE's interlocutor and previous student, characterizes the word 'flourishing' as "unusual" inside his introduction (@6), in addition to later asks JE "Where did you get the phrase, flourishing? " JE responses it "just type of came up.... It popped up first during an physical exercise with a personal training session where I used to be asked in order to express an important personal vision. " (@22. ) Plus a few pages later he refers to the ideas of "Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen [who] argues that well-being (or flourishing, because I write) requires the of a set regarding basic features.... " (@32. )
I don't with regard to a moment doubt JE's sincerity that he separately lit upon the word in the way he described. Nevertheless to say "as I write, " while talking about Sen, of most people? The particular features method to well-being offers been based on a new notion that's been referred to as "human flourishing" since at least the 1980s. As developed by Sen in addition to philosopher Martha Nussbaum, it can *far* more prominent inside social science than are usually JE's ideas, with all credited respect. Moreover, the phrase was picked as a translation of the ancient Ancient greek language word "eudaimonia, " which (along with related grammatical forms) was used by many authors to connote a new true happiness -- most prominently by Aristotle, in whose sense of the word in his Nicomachean Integrity may be the one Sen in addition to Nussbaum follow. Neither Aristotle, nor Nussbaum, nor the widespread using "flourishing" inside the literature on health are mentioned in this particular book. (JE's 2009 "Sustainability by Design, " which also talks about prospering very a bit, omits both Sen and Nussbaum, and discusses Aristotle's Nic. Eth. without mentioning eudaimonia at all. ) In case JE's nuance is to include all of nature, in addition to not merely humans, under the term "flourishing, " and then the book could basically say so , while acknowledging the earlier using the term. At best, this particular book's origin story about "flourishing" is symptomatic regarding the way it overemphasizes the uniqueness of JE's thought, without seeming fully aware of simply how much function has been done by others along the same lines (namely, lots even more than is suggested by JE's passing references in order to Herman Daly, Tim Knutson, Juliet Schor and Rich Heinberg).
Some of this particular lack of historical point of view could possibly be linked to the book's being published under Stanford U. Press's business publication imprint. I also suppose it was the SUP editor, or lack of same, who failed to catch that Adam Smith's suggestions weren't "put forward... nearly four hundred years ago" (@41), but less than two hundred fifity years ago. In total: JE seems just like a extremely interesting person with who to have a conversation. He makes many well-aimed remarks about why durability as currently practiced is usually useless and hypocritical, specifically in the earlier chapters. But the high level of generality in the latter half of the book makes it seem targeted more to MBAs who aren't used in order to thinking about the big picture, than to readers who else are buying practical vision of ways to get off of the unsustainable path we're stuck on., I found this publication to pinpoint a important concept i doubt most of the people recognize when thinking about sustainability: the goal in order to Generate benefits for a person's own ecological and social communities, instead of reduce bad externalities. Professors Ehrenfeld in addition to Hoffman both articulate very clearly the particular future picture of sustainability should appear like from our point of view, as consumers, and from the point of view of the producers who else use planetary resources. Along with that being said, I think the book left lots to be desired relating to real, concrete recommendations with regard to executing this " Flourishing" agenda. While the creating was very critical in addition to, I believe, accurate, I would have been even more satisfied had there already been clear recommendations made. Almost all in all, however , a new good read and a new great start for somebody interested in today's sustainability discussion.
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