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Living Well Now and in the FutureWhy Sustainability Matters$
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Randall Curren and Ellen Metzger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036009

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036009.001.0001

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What Sustainability Is and Why It Matters

What Sustainability Is and Why It Matters

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 What Sustainability Is and Why It Matters
Source:
Living Well Now and in the Future
Author(s):

Randall Curren

Ellen Metzger

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036009.003.0001

This aim of this chapter is to clarify the idea of sustainability, and to do so in a way that supports a coherent and ethically compelling understanding of sustainability. It identifies the long-term preservation of opportunity to live well as the normative core of the idea of sustainability. It defines a primary ecological concept of sustainability and distinguishes several other concepts, including throughput sustainability and socio-political sustainability. This provides a basis for detailed inquiry into the ethical core of sustainability and the relationships between several forms of sustainability that people have reason to care about. The chapter concludes with a survey of causes and manifestations of unsustainability that are undermining opportunities to live well.

Keywords:   ecological sustainability, planetary boundaries, opportunity, socio-political sustainability, causes of unsustainability, sustainable development

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