From climate change to species extinction, and habitat loss to soil degradation, a stark awareness of the often devastating impacts of human actions is growing. People around the world are urgently seeking sustainable ways of life for themselves and their communities. But what do these calls for a sustainable future mean for our current values and ways of life, and what kind of people will we need to become? Though sustainability is a ubiquitous concept with a range of meaning and applications, The Virtues of Sustainability shows that it can be significantly understood and sought through the notion of virtue, in the tradition of virtue ethics. Approaches to ethical living that emphasize good character and virtue are resurgent, and especially well-suited to addressing our present challenges. From rethinking excessive consumption, to appropriately respecting nature, to finding resilience in the face of environmental injustice, our characters will be frequently tested. The virtues of sustainability – character traits enabling us to lead sustainable, flourishing lives – will be critical to our success.
This volume, divided into three sections, brings together newly-commissioned essays by leading scholars from multiple disciplines – from philosophy and political science, to religious studies and psychology. The essays in the first section focus on key factors and structures that support the cultivation of the virtues of sustainability, while those in the second focus in particular on virtues embraced by non-Western communities and cultures, and the worldviews that underlie them. Finally, the essays in the third section each address further particular virtues of sustainability, including cooperativeness, patience, conscientiousness, creativity, and open-mindedness.
Together, these essays provide readers with a rich understanding of the importance and diversity of the virtues of sustainability, and practical guidance towards their cultivation.
Series Editor's Foreword
Introduction, Jason Kawall
Part One: Cultivating Virtues of Sustainability
Chapter 1: Virtue and sustainable behavior: A psychological perspective, Susan Clayton
Chapter 2: The Environmental Psychology of Pro-Sustainability Virtues, Victor Corral-Verdugo, Martha Frías-Armenta & Anais Ortiz-Valdez
Chapter 3: Aristotelian Virtue Education and Education for Sustainable Development: Prospects and Problems, Matt Ferkany
Chapter 4: The Emotional Heart of Environmental Virtues, Cheryl Hall
Part Two: Virtues, Sustainability, and Worldviews
Chapter 5: Jain Dharma as a Virtue Ethics for Sustainability, Pankaj Jain
Chapter 6: Respect for Nature: Learning from Indigenous Values, Christine J. Cuomo
Part Three: Virtues of Sustainability
Chapter 7: Cooperativeness as a Virtue of Sustainability, Laura M. Hartman
Chapter 8: Patience and Sustainability, Jason Kawall
Chapter 9: Treading Lightly: Conscientiousness, Information, and Ecological Impacts, Steve Vanderheiden
Chapter 10: The Roles of Creativity and Open-Mindedness in Implementing Sustainable Solutions, Sarah Wright
Jason Kawall is the Carl Benton Straub '58 Endowed Chair in Culture and the Environment, and Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Colgate University. His research focuses on virtue ethics and epistemology, with a particular emphasis on their application to environmental and sustainability issues. He has published extensively in these and related areas, with his work appearing in such journals as American Philosophical Quarterly, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, Ethics, Policy & Environment, and Philosophical Studies, and in several edited collections.
- Susan Clayton
- Victor Corral-Verdugo
- Christine J. Cuomo
- Matt Ferkany
- Martha Frías-Armenta
- Cheryl Hall
- Laura M. Hartman
- Pankaj Jain
- Jason Kawall
- Anais Ortiz-Valdez
- Steve Vanderheiden
- Sarah Wright