Is transplanetary sustainability a good idea? An answer from the perspective of conceptual engineering

Beisbart, Claus (2019). Is transplanetary sustainability a good idea? An answer from the perspective of conceptual engineering. International journal of astrobiology, 18(5), pp. 468-476. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S1473550418000472

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Is our current concept of sustainable development too focused on our planet? Do we need a new conception of sustainability? The recent call for an ’ethics of planetary sustainability’ by A. Losch may be understood as promoting an affirmative answer to this question. This essay analyses and assesses the introduction of a new concept of sustainability from the perspective of conceptual engineering. The central question is whether this new concept, which I call ‘transplanetary sustainability’, may improve our thinking, and, indirectly, our practices. I argue that a new notion of transplanetary sustainability advantageously points to considerations that matter from a moral point of view. It may also help us to be more exact and consistent in our moral thinking. At the same time, there are serious doubts as to how fundamental the concept of sustainability as such is from a theoretical perspective since it does not figure in prominent moral theories. Furthermore, in view of possible extraterrestrial beings that deserve to be taken into account from a moral point of view, the proposed revision of the concept may reach less than required. Nevertheless, since sustainability has had an impressive career in international politics, it is practically speaking important that sustainability be conceived such that outer space is taken into account.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Philosophy > Theoretical Philosophy
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Beisbart, Claus

Subjects:

100 Philosophy
100 Philosophy > 170 Ethics

ISSN:

1473-5504

Publisher:

Cambridge University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Claus Beisbart

Date Deposited:

28 Apr 2020 14:22

Last Modified:

28 Apr 2020 14:22

Publisher DOI:

10.1017/S1473550418000472

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Concepts, extraterrestrial beings, moral theories, sustainability

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.143710

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/143710

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