Overcoming energy gluttony: A philosophical perspective

Zygon 46 (4):915-928 (2011)
Abstract As there are food gluttons, so there are energy gluttons. One difference is that energy gluttons are typically oblivious to how much energy they consume and the source of that energy. Their energy gluttony is a side effect of insatiable desire for material goods, which themselves are often associated with social status. Nonetheless, steps taken to deal with energy gluttony parallel those taken with food gluttony. Typically these fall into three categories: educational, political, and technological. I will examine a fourth, however, best characterized as philosophical. I will show how, by following the advice of the ancient Stoics and training ourselves to care less what others think of us, we can help overcome our desire for social status, resulting in a reduction in our desire for material things and a significant reduction in our personal energy bill. The pessimistic conclusion, however, is that most people are probably unwilling to undergo the self-analysis and self-transformation that this philosophical approach requires
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2011.01232.x
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