- The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory
- List of Illustrations
- List of Contributors
- Introducing Environmental Political Theory
- Environmental Political Theory and the History of Western Political Theory
- Culture and Difference: Non-Western Approaches to Defining Environmental Issues
- Environmental Political Theory and the Liberal Tradition
- Environmental Political Theory and Republicanism
- Human Nature, Non-human Nature, and Needs: Environmental Political Theory and Critical Theory
- Environmental Political Theory, Environmental Ethics, and Political Science: Bridging the Gap
- Environmental Political Theory’s Contribution to Sustainability Studies
- Environmental Political Theory and Environmental Action Research Teams
- “Nature” and the (Built) Environment
- Theorizing the Non-human through Spatial and Environmental Thought
- Challenging the Human X Environment Framework
- Environmental Management in the Anthropocene
- Floral Sensations: Plant Biopolitics
- Cosmopolitanism and the Environment
- Sustainability— Post-sustainability— Unsustainability
- Population, Environmental Discourse, and Sustainability
- Are There Limits to Limits?
- Green Political Economy: Beyond Orthodox Undifferentiated Economic Growth as a Permanent Feature of the Economy
- Environmental and Climate Justice
- Environmental Human Rights
- Responsibility for Climate Change as a Structural Injustice
- Environmental Justice and the Anthropocene Meme
- The Limits of Freedom and the Freedom of Limits
- Bodies, Environments, and Agency
- Cultivating Human and Non-human Capabilities for Mutual Flourishing
- Consumption and Well-being
- Capital, Environmental Degradation, and Economic Externalization
- Environmental Governmentality
- Political Economy of the Greening of the State
- Environmental Science and Politics
- Democracy as Constraint and Possibility for Environmental Action
- Environmental Authoritarianism and China
- Global Environmental Governance
- Global Environmental Justice and the Environmentalism of the Poor
- Indigenous Environmental Movements and the Function of Governance Institutions
- Reimagining Radical Environmentalism
- Framing and Nudging for a Greener Future
- Citizenship: Radical, Feminist, and Green
- Ecological Democracy and the Co-participation of Things
Abstract and Keywords
Environmental problems driven by unsustainable consumption are lending new importance to an ancient question: are there bounds to the goods required for a happy or flourishing life? A standard assumption in recent economics is that there are no such bounds. Many further argue that markets, technological change, and resource substitution can deliver sustainability while allowing consumption of final goods by consumers to increase. This chapter criticizes this approach and considers two much older traditions, the Epicurean and Aristotelian, which do recognize the existence of limits to the goods required for the good life. Their revival has been used to argue that consumption can be reduced without loss of well-being. This chapter argues that the promise found by environmentalists in the recent hedonic revival of the Epicurean tradition is misplaced, and that the Aristotelian tradition provides a richer account of why the future—and therefore consuming sustainably—matters to our well-being.
Paul Knights is a PostDoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy, University of Manchester.
John O’Neill is Hallsworth Chair in Political Economy, University of Manchester.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.