Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):85-108 (2010)
In this paper we explore material simplicity, defined as the virtue disposing us to act appropriately within the sphere of our consumer decisions. Simplicity is a conscientious and restrained attitude toward material goods that typically includes (1) decreased consumption and (2) a more conscious consumption; hence (3) greater deliberation regarding our consumer decisions; (4) a more focused life in general; and (5) a greater and more nuanced appreciation for other things besides material goods, and also for (6) material goods themselves. It is to be distinguished from simple-mindedness, a return to nature, or poverty. Simplicity overlaps with traditional virtues such as temperance, frugality, and wisdom, and sustains and enables traditional virtues such as justice and generosity. Simplicity is a virtue because it furthers human flourishing, both individual and social, and sustains nature’s ecological flourishing. For analytic purposes, we consider six areas in which simplicity can make important contributions: (1) basic individual flourishing, (2) basic societal flourishing, (3) individual freedom or autonomy, (4) the acquisition of knowledge, (5) living meaningfully, and (6) preserving and protecting nonhuman beings. The proven failure of materialism to secure subjective happiness or objective flourishing argues for the practice of voluntary simplicity and for the radical reform of modern consumer societies
|Keywords||Simplicity Consumption Temperance Virtue|
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References found in this work BETA
Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification.Christopher Peterson & Martin E. P. Seligman - 2004 - Oxford University Press USA.
Character and Environment: A Virtue-Oriented Approach to Environmental Ethics.Ronald L. Sandler - 2007 - Columbia University Press.
The Reflective Life: Living Wisely with Our Limits.Valerie Tiberius - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Future Harms and Current Offspring.Jason Kawall - 2011 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (1):23-26.
Consumption Practices: A Virtue Ethics Approach.Pablo Garcia-Ruiz & Carlos Rodriguez-Lluesma - 2014 - Business Ethics Quarterly 24 (4):509-531.
The Virtue of Burden and Limits of Gelassenheit.Brendan Mahoney - 2016 - Environmental Philosophy 13 (2):269-298.
Taming Growth and Articulating a Sustainable Future The Way Forward for Environmental Ethics.Philip Cafaro - 2011 - Ethics and the Environment 16 (1):1-24.
GM Crops, the Hubris Argument and the Nature of Agriculture.Payam Moula - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (1):161-177.
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