On sustainability and materiality: Homo faber, a new approach

Emilia Ferraro, Louise Anne Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

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 fromdisciplines rooted in the Arts and Humanities – specifically anthropology and philosophy – introducing to debates on sustainability the notion of ‘homo faber’. Our aimis threefold: (1) to invite creative thinking about the role thatmateriality 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Economics
Volume96
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

Keywords

  • making and sustainability

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