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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique 

© 2011 Alan S. Cajes All rights reserved. Published 2011. Printed in the Philippines Printing or copying information exclusively for personal and non-commercial use with proper acknowledgment of the author is allowed. Users are restricted from reselling, redistributing, or creating derivative works for commercial purposes without the express, written consent of the author. Published by Compendume Publishing & Consultancy Services Sampaloc, Manila ISBN 978-971-94507-1-9

Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique 

For Tito Vistal, who seemed to have the genius of Aristotle and the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, and Corazon J. Logarta, who is both Gaia and Themis.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique 

SUMMARY .................................................................................... 6  FOREWORD ................................................................................... 8  PREFACE ...................................................................................... 11  CHAPTER 1 .................................................................................. 15  THE NEED TO EXPLAIN THE MEANING OF SUSTAINABLE  DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................ 15  CHAPTER II .................................................................................. 27  THE RISE OF THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PARADIGM ......... 27  THE PROGRESS OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE ............................................... 28  MODERN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE ..................................................... 31  POSTMODERNISM ............................................................................. 34  THE IDEA OF PROGRESS ...................................................................... 41  THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT ...................................................... 43  CHAPTER III ................................................................................. 46  THE MEANING OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.......................... 46  JUSTICE AND LOVE: THE HEART OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ............... 47  SUSTAINABLE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL CAPITAL .................... 49  ECOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT .................... 52  METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ................ 57  ECONOMIC DIMENSION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT .......................... 61  SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ......... 73  MORAL PHILOSOPHY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ............................. 78  CHAPTER IV ................................................................................. 86  SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................ 86  SUMMARY ....................................................................................... 86  ON THE MEANING OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ................................ 92  ON THE METAPHYSICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ..... 95  ON THE ECONOMIC DIMENSION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT .............. 96  ON THE MORAL PHILOSOPHY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT .................. 98  REFERENCES .............................................................................. 101  ABOUT THE AUTHOR ....................................................................... 115 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique 

Summary Sustainable development has become a “new” gospel in the contemporary environment and development literature. The global social order is generally fascinated by the concept and is taking steps to translate it into actual practice. Although everybody seems to be in favor of sustainable development, no one seems certain as to what it actually means. The description of the term by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) of the United Nations as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” is generally acceptable but susceptible to different interpretations. The problem is compounded by the habit of appealing to the social and natural sciences for help in explaining the meaning of the term and its implication to environmental protection, trade and governance. Sustainable development is generally understood as the fulfillment of the basic needs of present and future generations through equity and environmental protection. The author, however, argues that sustainable development only becomes conceptually viable if it seeks to satisfy fundamental human needs, if its norm is social justice, if its vehicle is a steady-state economy that promotes sustainable production and consumption of natural capital, and if its engine is the State and its civil spirited citizens.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The author also traces the origin of sustainable development in the light of historical human knowledge. He points out that although the term “sustainable development” is relatively new, its meaning and its implications are of ancient origin. The concept is a product of human-nature interaction. Thus, its interpretation only becomes meaningful if it is placed in the context of its own historical development.

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Foreword This book is an offshoot of my postgraduate thesis for a Master of Arts in Philosophy at the Graduate School of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila. The thesis was defended before a panel chaired by Dr. Magdalena A. Villaba, former Dean of the UST Graduate School and my professor in Oriental Philosophies and Religions. During my defense session in 1998, my thesis adviser was not present due to other pressing engagements that were equally important. Nevertheless, Prof. Dr. Florentino H. Hornedo did not have second thoughts in allowing me to be placed on the hot seat. This somehow gave me an assurance to face some of the most brilliant minds of the country. It has been twelve years since I submitted a revised version of the thesis to the faculty of the graduate school. A lot of things have happened since then. I took two doctoral courses in development studies in the same year. However, due to pressure from work at the Resource Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (now the Center for Sustainable Human Development), Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), I decided to leave school to do full-time professional work in the environment and sustainable development field.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  I was fortunate that the UST Graduate school allowed me to pursue this study. Although my undergraduate academic background was not in environmental science but in philosophy and political science, the school took cognizance of my professional experience at DAP, my work experience as trade and industry development specialist at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and my community work as amateur spelunker and mountaineer. I had other philosophical topics in mind, such as the role of method in philosophical hermeneutics, considering that it was unusual for graduate students not to focus their energy on the great ideas of philosophers and thinkers. I decided to do philosophy on sustainable development, admittedly a novel idea at that time, in view of my need to understand better my field of work. When I got the green light from my thesis adviser to pursue the study for my Thesis II course, I slowly realized that I was going to face a difficult challenge – that of getting the related literature for my thesis. Since the topic was relatively new in the country, the UST Central Library, as I surmised, did not have sufficient related reference materials. I had to visit the libraries of other universities in Metro Manila, including the library of the University of the Philippines in Laguna. Fortunately, the DAP library had a superior collection of books on the topic, thanks to the efforts of my supervisor, Ms. Josefa Rizalina M. Bautista, who collected materials during her local and foreign travels. I had also the rare opportunity of learning from the lectures of outstanding resource persons at Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  DAP, the likes of Atty. Antonio A. Oposa Jr., Dr. Sixto K. Roxas, Dr. Delfin Ganapin Jr., Dr. Ben Malayang III, and the internationally recognized expert on sustainable development, Michael Carley, who co-wrote a book entitled Managing Sustainable Development with Ian Christie. Since 1998, I have been using portions of my thesis in my professional work and consultancy engagements. In 2010, I wrote an extended essay based on the thesis. The result is this work. I decided to use the scope and limitation of the first work on the ground that the findings are still valid, defensible and may be useful to those whose academic interest is similar to mine. All faults are entirely my own.

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Preface At least three philosophers influenced my decision to pursue this study. The first one is Prof. Dr. Claro R. Ceniza, who was my professor in Symbolic Logic, Pre-Socratic Philosophy and Advanced Metaphysics. Dr. Ceniza’s “Metaphysics of Space” and his “Theory of Interaction,” which I learned directly from the master himself, serve as inspirations in linking up the concepts of ecological space, economic space and political space. He also introduced me to the notion of holism via the affinity between particle physics, the study of the smallest particles in nature, and cosmology, the study of the universe as a whole. The second philosopher is Prof. Dr. Florentino H. Hornedo, who serves as adviser and professor in Philosophy of the Human Person, Philosophy of History, Philosophy of Education, Philippine Constitutional History and Postmodernism. Dr. Hornedo introduced me to the works of Paul Ricoeur, Karl Popper, Bernard Lonergan, Arnold Joseph Toynbee and Fernand Braudel, whose ideas somehow find place in the various parts of this work. The third one is Dr. Charles Ringma, who taught Advanced Philosophical Hermeneutics and for whom I developed a thesis-in-progress entitled “The Role of Method in Philosophical Hermeneutics”. The readings and assignments that Dr. Ringma gave his Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  class, as well as his expert handling of his sessions, made the thoughts of the great hermeneuticists intelligible and fascinating. He introduced me to the works of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Wilhelm Dilthey, whose ideas are discernable in a number of discussions of this work. I realized the need to wrestle with the meaning of sustainable development after three years of professional experience in the field of environment management. Although I was inspired by the increasing number of literature on sustainable development and environmental management around 1997, I was also alarmed by the utter lack of philosophical foundations of many of them. Jacob Needleman is right in saying that modern society tends to solve its problems without experiencing its questions. I agree with him when he said that “this is our genius as a civilization, but it is also our pathology.” Another insight that triggered me to critique sustainable development is derived from the Visayan saying “walay kaugmaon kung walay kaugmaran” (there’s no future if there is no development). The root words of kaugmaon and kaugmaran are ugma (tomorrow) and ugmad (to cultivate), respectively. Thus, one must ugmad or cultivate his farm so that he could feed his children ugma or tomorrow. A long series of tomorrows constitute one’s future; hence, it is important to ensure that farms are cultivated in a sustainable manner. This is one way of interpreting sustainable development in relation to the way of life of the Visayan people. Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The importance of this saying lies in the idea that the notion of sustainability is included in the notion of development. Thus, “sustainable” does not substantially add meaning to “development.” Perhaps society has grown tired of understanding the nature of development per se and out of this desperation it has created another “controversy.” Scott Gordon recalls Immanuel Kant’s famous remark about the complementarity of “concepts” and “precepts,” which Imre Lakatos paraphrased in this way: “Philosophy of science without history of science is empty; history of science without philosophy of science is blind.” And because society generally lacks both, it is not surprising that many of its decisions are both blind and empty. In other words, if philosophy is the highest music as Pythagoras claimed, then, there is hardly any music in the world today. Be that as it may, I am convinced that a philosophical analysis of sustainable development is in order, as this work shows. Whether society needs philosophy or not is not the issue. Whether society has failed miserably in its homework to understand the ideas of philosophers or philosophers have deliberately detached philosophy from the crowd is beside the point. Whether I succeed or fail in this effort to clarify the meaning of sustainable development is not of utmost importance. What is important is that an attempt is initiated. Toynbee once said that civilization is not a destiny but a voyage. To use Scott Gordon’s words: “Science is best viewed, not as a body of knowledge, but as an activity -- the search for truth, not the possession of Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  it. If apodictic truth were discovered, science would come to an end.” No wonder philosophy literally means the love of wisdom, not the possession of it.

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The Need to Explain the Meaning of Sustainable Development

There are themes, which are derived from human historical experience, that provide the intellectual backdrop in this attempt to understand the concept of sustainable development. These themes have influenced the way humans perceive, and relate with, each other, the physical world they inhabit, the world of images that they carry in their heads, the various social structures and systems that they create, and which influence their daily lives, as well as their sense of destiny, both in the context of the physical life span and beyond it. One of these themes involves the concept of “space”. In the science of human ecology, relations in space serve as the analytical basis for understanding social systems.1 In the environment and development literature, concepts such as “political space,” “economic space,” and “ecological space” are gaining 1 John R. Logan and Harvey L. Molotch, Urban Fortunes. The Political Economy of Space (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1987), 4.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  attention and prominence.2 The notion of political space is related to the failed socialist experiment in many countries, notably in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This dismal failure facilitated the diffusion of liberal democratic ideas throughout the four corners of the globe.3 The idea of economic space is identified with the diffusion of market-friendly policies or economic liberalism, which goes with political liberalism and the so-called “Westernization of the world.”4 Both increases in political and economic spaces are ushered by the ascendancy of a “culture of consumerism” that is propagated by cable television, the Internet, and other media outlets.5 Increase in economic and political spaces affect ecological space or human access to natural resources.6 Although one could claim that more and more people revel in their new role as managers of their own communities and resources, brought about by the principle of subsidiarity,7 this apparent empowerment is overshadowed by the commodification of space or nature. The ever increasing dominance of economic systems decreases the availability of, and therefore access to, natural capital.8 2 Logan and Harvey, 1-5. See also Michael Carley, “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century City-Region: Organizing to Meet the Challenge,” paper delivered at the LectureForum on Urban Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, Development Academy of the Philippines, Pasig City, Philippines, 7 March 1996, no paging. 3 Michael Carley and Ian Christie, Managing Sustainable Development (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992), 11-12. 4 Ibid., 11-12. 5 Ibid. 6 Michael Carley, “Sustainable Development,” no paging. 7 John Naisbitt, Global Paradox: The Bigger the World Economy, The More Powerful Its Smallest Players (New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., c. 1994), 3-15. 8 John and Harvey, 4. See also Carley and Christie, 40 and Michael J.G. Parnwell

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  These issues shape people’s understanding of sustainable development. Indeed, these issues lie at the very core of the issue of sustainability. The second theme concerns the rivalry of two ancient doctrines, namely, methodological individualism and methodological holism. The doctrine of methodological individualism, on one hand, states that scientific explanations of social phenomena must be based on laws referring to the “actions of individual persons.” Methodological holism, on the other hand, claims that “laws of social phenomena must be stated in terms such as larger entities or ‘wholes’.”9 In the wider sense, these two doctrines represent the contrasting approaches between the scientific and philosophical traditions. Science operates by splitting complex phenomena into simpler components. In contrast, philosophy integrates the individual components into larger wholes.10 In relation to environmental questions, the discrepancy in approaches takes the form of what has been referred to as the “scientific” or disciplinary reductionism,” on the one hand, and the holistic paradigm,” on the other hand.11 and Raymond L. Bryant, eds., Environmental Change in South-East Asia. People Politics and Sustainable Development (London and New York, Routledge, 1996), 330. 9 Scott Gordon, The History and Philosophy of Social Science (London and New York, Routledge, 1991), 49. 10 Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy. The Lives and Opinions of the Great Philosophers (New York: Washington Square Press, c. 1970), xxvi-xxvii. See also Gordon, 2223. 11 Carley and Christie, 71-77.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The development of the scientific method is traceable to certain persons as represented by the following: • Titus Lucretius Carus (c.99-c.55 B.C.), who “advocated the reduction of complex phenomena to simpler constituents;” • Roger Bacon (c.1215-c.1292), who emphasized observation and experimentation to gather empirical data; • Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), who, as an artist, studied the essential mechanics of nature in order to “understand why things appear as they do and how they function;” • Andreas Vesalius (1514-64), who, as medical practitioner, made objective and direct observation of human anatomy rather than rely on standard authoritative texts, and who told his students to concentrate on scientific matters rather than on questions about the location of the soul in the body, thus, creating a demarcation line between science and theology; • Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), whose work combined “objective observation and rational theoretical analysis;12 • Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), who separated the human observer from nature being observed;13 • Rene Descartes whose Discourse on Method (1637) “established the mechanistic conception

12 13

Gordon, 19-23. Carley and Christie, 63.

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of the world as a fundamental philosophical principle of science;”14 and Auguste Comte, who coined the term positivism, which is essentially equivalent to modern science.15

Science, in the Newtonian sense, “enabled nature to be studied in a detached, analytic fashion.”16 It occasioned the compartmentalization of knowledge through specialization and produced men and women who “know more and more about less and less and less and less about more and more.”17 In addition, it separated the observed from the observer, world from consciousness, facts from values and “encouraged the packaging of nature into discrete commodities to be bought and sold.”18 This science fueled the growth machine strategy of industrialization, which runs at the expense of the planet’s environmental quality and integrity.19 In 1926, Jan Smuts, who asserted that “reality is aggregative, emergent and holistic,”20 published his book Holism and Evolution. The term “holism” means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It embraces a “hierarchy of explanation, the lowest rung of which is Newtonian mechanism”.21 According to Van Steenbergen, the holistic paradigm Gordon, 69. Florentino H. Hornedo, “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism” Unitas (September, 1995), 53-76. 16 Carley and Christie, 63. 17 Ibid. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid., 63-64. 20 Michael Barbour, “Ecological Fragmentation in the Fifties,” in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature ed. William Cronon (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996), 233-255. 21 Carley and Christie, 77. 14 15

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  emphasizes “totality, the replacement of the observer by the participant, thinking in terms of processes, an affinity with systems theory” and ecologism.22 It aims to advance a holistic universal science “with truth having many levels and at the same time grounded in a consciousness prior to the intellectual mind.”23 What holism implies, in relation to the concept of sustainable development, include the need for the integration of human knowledge, teamwork among and within various levels of human organizations, and a horizontal and non-peripheral system of relationship among humans and between humans and non-human nature.24 In particular, it demands, for instance, that nature is not merely a commodity but a life support system, that economists and development proponents must work closely with environmentalists and ecologists, and that the myriad but threatened living organisms, which have not been considered in development thinking, be brought to the center of any discussion on development, just like human beings, who claim to be most intelligent of all the species in the planet. Another theme is the view that “nature is a human idea.”25 In modern humanistic scholarship, “everything we do exists in a context that is historically, geographically, and culturally particular, and cannot be understood apart from that context.”26 Indeed, as Raymond Williams said, the Ibid. Ibid. 24 Ibid. 25 William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground. Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996), 20. 26 Ibid., 35. 22 23

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  notion of nature contains “an extraordinary amount of human history.”27 This outlook is dominant in philosophical hermeneutics, particularly in the writings of Hans Georg-Gadamer, who holds that understanding is bound in language.28 Language, which is the “fundamental mode of operation” of being,29 is a form of human expression and, as such, exists within the domain of human historicity.30 Thus, it is not only nature which exists in the context of history; the human idea about nature is also historical and, therefore, cannot be separated from human culture.31 Culture, which proceeds from the cultivation of nature, is the “mode by which human beings organize their relation to nature.”32 This means that humans “live not in nature but in their relation to nature.”33 Despite this relationship, humans remain “outside nature,”34 although human nature is “determined by its relation to nature.”35 Thus, humans shape nature, and nature influences humans.

Ibid., 25. Hans Georg-Gadamer, “The Universality of the Hermeneutic Problem,” in Hermeneutical Inquiry Volume 1 The Interpretation of Texts ed. David E. Klemm (Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1986), 173-189. 29 Ibid. 30 William Dilthey, “The Development of Hermeneutics,” in Hermeneutical Inquiry Volume 1 The Interpretation of Texts ed. David E. Klemm (Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1986), 9395. 31 Robert P. Harrison, “Toward a Philosophy of Nature,’ in Uncommon Ground. Rethinking the Human Place in Nature ed. William Cronon (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996), 426-459. 32 Ibid., 426. 33 Ibid. 34 Ibid., 427. 35 Ibid., 436. 27 28

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Put differently, there are two worlds that exist -- the physical world that human beings inhabit, and the “ideal” world or the world of ideas, which humans carry in their heads and which inform human actions.36 These two worlds exist at the same time and are “always in complex relationship with each other.”37 What this theme implies, in relation to sustainable development is that the physical world is not “natural as it seems” but is “profoundly a human construction.”38 It is an artifice and a “self-conscious cultural construction.”39 Thus, to protect and manage the resources in nature, “we must think long and hard about the nature we carry inside our heads.”40 Another implication is that cultural diversity produces different conceptions about nature. Under this outlook, nature becomes a contested terrain: there are varying ideas about what it is and how to use it.41 What people will find in nature is not “One Universal Nature but the many different natures that our cultures and histories have taught us to look for and find.”42 Nature, therefore, is an “uncommon ground” that humans share.43 These themes are derived from three major approaches to knowledge, namely, natural sciences, William Cronon, 22. Ibid. 38 Ibid., 25. 39 Ibid., 39. 40 Ibid., 22. 41 Ibid., 56. 42 Ibid., 55. 43 Ibid., 56. 36 37

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  social sciences, and the humanities. They epitomize the recent developments in the environment and development fields, as well as influence the rise of the sustainable development paradigm. Indeed, if the concept of sustainable development is to make any sense at all, it has to be interpreted in the context of the knowledge gained from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities. As William Cronon observed, people “often appeal to the natural and social sciences in trying to understand environmental problems.”44 This habit does not approximate an integration of knowledge. This could be one of the reasons why there is still a need for a philosophical and moral dialogue about the appropriate nature of sustainable development although the concept is widely acceptable.45 The need to clarify the notion of sustainable development is prevalent in the environment literature. Recent writings that express a similar concern include the following: “The term sustainable development has not actually been defined. It is a philosophical principle which has been described only as a development which makes it possible for today’s generation of mankind to satisfy its needs without making it more difficult for future generations to satisfy theirs. This is a politically attractive description, but provides little foundation for decision as to whether one form of technology or 44 45

Ibid., 27. Carley and Christie, 12.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  economic programme is compatible with the objectives or not.”46 “Sustainable development is a contestable concept: one that affords a variety of competing interpretations or conceptions... In the 1990s it will be hard to find anyone to oppose the ideal; but this will still leave much room for disagreement over what it entails.”47 “But what exactly is sustainable development? Clearly the concept is complex and challenging; a great many talented people have attempted to provide universally acceptable definition for sustainable development, yet none can be said to have wholly succeeded.”48 “There are...difficulties in giving specificity to the notion of sustainable development, while the objective of social justice (distributive equity, equality, fairness) is also problematic since the terms themselves are subject to markedly different meanings.”49 “...little headway appears to have been made in terms of a rigorous definition of the concept [sustainable development]. Therefore, not surprisingly efforts to ‘operationalize’ sustainable development and to show how it can be integrated into 46 Arne Jernelov, “The Principle of Sustainable Development,” in On the General Principles of Environmental Protection. Swedish Government Official Reports 1994:69 (Stockholm: Swedish Environmental Advisory Council, 1994), 10. 47 Michael Jacobs, The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development, and Politics of the Future (London: Pluto Press, 1991), 60. 48 Ranjit Kumar and Barbara Murck, On Common Grounds: Managing HumanPlanet Relationships (Toronto: John Wiley and Sons, 1992), preface. 49 J. Rees, “Pollution Control Objectives and the Regulatory Framework” in R. Kerry Turner, Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice (London: Bellhaven Press, and Boulder Colorado: Westview Press in association with Economic and Social Research Council, 1988), 17--189.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  practical decision-making have been few and generally unpersuasive.”50 “The difficulty in not having an operational definition of sustainable development is the lack of a clear picture of the goal we are aiming for and how to achieve it.”51 “If sustainable development is to succeed as a new way of life on earth, its moral content must be thoroughly debated and understood.”52 “...uncritical acceptance of sustainable development as the “solution” to the world’s environmental problems is problematic. To begin with, the meaning of ‘sustainable development’ remains elusive-a chameleon-like concept, it means many things to many people. Such flexibility helps to explain its popularity, but simultaneously raises serious questions about its utility as a concept capable of uniting widest disparate objectives and interests.”53

There are at least two reasons why there is a need to clarify the concept of sustainable development. One, it is essential for people to have a collective understanding and appreciation of the concept so that they could relate it to their own unique geographical, historical and cultural experiences. Two, the successful implementation of 50 David Pearce, Edward Barbier and Anil Markandya, Sustainable Development Economics and Environment in the Third World (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1990), 1. 51 Government of Japan, Report of the Expert Workshop on Methodologies for Indicators of Sustainable Development, 5-8 February 1996, Glen Cove, Long Island, New York (Japan: Environment Agency, Government of Japan, 1996). 52 J. Ronald Engel, “Introduction: The Ethics of Sustainable Development” in Ethics of Environment and Development. Global Challenge and International Response eds. J. Ronald Engel and J. Gibb Engel (London: Bellhaven Press, 1990), 1-23. 53 Parnwell and Bryant, Environmental Change in South-East Asia, 1.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  sustainable development is contingent on how people understand and appreciate its meaning. In other words, before people can meaningfully talk about how to implement something, they have to understand first what is to be implemented and why. This extended essay is an attempt towards this direction. It aims to critique the concept of sustainable development by appealing to key insights derived from natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

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The Rise of the Sustainable Development Paradigm

Human history is the interplay of fate and destiny. The notion of fate is understood in the context of Fatalism, which is the “belief that events are predetermined by a cosmic purpose, plan or will.”1 Destiny, on the other hand, has a close affinity with Teleology, which is one of the theories of the nature of physical reality.2 Under the teleological view, everything possesses an “inherent tendency to fulfill a purpose.”3 In the philosophy of Aristotle, substances possess an entelechia or inherent tendencies to fulfill or attain a telos or end.4 Fate could mean the things that are happening or that could happen to a person. Under fate, one has no way of controlling or manipulating events. Destiny could mean the things that a person causes or 1 Milton D. Hunnex, Chronological and Thematic Charts of Philosophies and Philosophers (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986), 29. 2 Ibid., 15. 3 Ibid. 4 Ibid.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  can cause to happen. Under destiny, one has the power to control or manipulate events. Morally speaking, human beings have no responsibility over matters of fate but they are responsible for matters of destiny, unless they are, as Aristotle noted, either ignorant or compelled.5 The concept of destiny or teleology takes an important consideration in the historiography of Arnold Joseph Toynbee (1889-1975). Toynbee posited that the pattern of challenge-and-response determines the histories of civilizations.6 Thus, the progress or decline of a particular civilization depends on whether or not the civilization is able to provide a commensurate response to a particular challenge.7 For Toynbee, human beings are always involved in a continuing process of progression or the search for human development and that this process may be divinely ordained. He said, “While civilizations rise and fall and, in falling, give rise to others, some purposeful enterprise, higher than theirs, may all the time be making headway, and, in a divine plan, the learning that comes through the suffering caused by the failures of civilizations may be the sovereign means of progress.”8

The Progress of Human Knowledge

Ibid., 28-29. Hornedo, “Theories of History” in Nature, Science and Values Readings, 315-352. 7 Arnold Joseph Toynbee, “The Disintegration of Civilizations” in Theories of History ed. Patrick Gardiner (Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1959), 201-205. 8 Toynbee, “My View of History” in Theories of History, 205-210. 5 6

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The western intellectual tradition began with the slow but persistent emergence of philosophy and science from the womb of Greek mythology. Changes in the social, political and religious environments of ancient Greece, rather than sheer intellectual adjustments, gave way to the transition from mythology to philosophy and science.9 The transition became evident in the philosophy of the Ionian thinkers, who included Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Xenophanes of Colophon, and Heraclitus of Ephesus. They were the first thinkers to provide “really rational attempts to describe the nature of the world.”10 Greek philosophy and science entered its subsequent stage of development starting with Socrates, whose most brilliant pupil Plato became the teacher of Aristotle. The Greeks were the first to attempt to give “a consistently rational picture of nature, to classify phenomena systematically and to explain them, to establish a limited number of principles and to deduce their consequences.”11 As Euripides put it, “Blessed is he who has taken knowledge of science...contemplating the ageless order of deathless Nature -- how it came to be formed, its manner, its way.”12

9 G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven and M. Chofield, The Presocratic Philosophers A Critical History with a Selection of Texts (Cambridge, London, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, c. 1983), 73-74. 10 Ibid., 75. 11 Ludwig Edelstein, “Motives and Incentives for Science in Antiquity” in Scientific Change Historical Studies in the Intellectual, Social, and Technical Conditions for Scientific Discovery and Technical Invention, from Antiquity to the Present (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963), 15-41. 12 Ibid., 16.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  What made this intellectual enterprise possible was explained by Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804), who said that the discovery of order in the cosmos “is the business of understanding, which is resignedly borne toward a necessary purpose, viz. the bringing of unity of principles into nature, because the understanding cannot here prescribe any law to it.”13 Thus, “science whose aim it is to understand nature must start from the presupposition that nature can be understood by reason.”14 Ancient science, however, was neither “mere knowledge” nor “mere technique. It was a “way to God and taught men to read the book of the world as a book written by a divine author and thus to understand its meaning rightly.”15 Greek science “preserved an awareness of the meaning of the universe and retained a place for values within the world of facts.”16 Ancient philosophy was cosmocentric. Kosmos is the Greek word for the order of things. The term later evolved into the meaning “world” or “universe,” which is associated with the notion of a “perfect order.”17 Deisidaimonia is the Greek word for “young humanity’s inborn habit of seeing the hand of God in every aspect of nature and reading spiritual or mystical significance into every fact of life.”18 It literally means the fear of demons, fear Ibid., 17. Ibid. 15 Ibid., 22. 16 Ibid., 22. 17 George Bailey, The Making of Andrei Sakharov (London: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1989), 4. 18 Ibid. 13 14

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  being identifiable with the English word “dread” that connotes “reverence and awe”.19 Hence, the world or the cosmos is an orderly reality whose order is penetrable by human reason. In other words, the cosmos is intelligible or knowable by human intelligence. The cosmos, however, is the handiwork of a God and as such the order that governs the cosmos is the will of God. Any human activity, therefore, that destroys the order of the cosmos contravenes the will of God. This could be one of the reasons why Socrates declared that the unexamined life is not worth living.20 Modern philosophy and science The medieval western intellectual tradition “was a Theocracy.”21 According to Prof. Florentino H. Hornedo, “The point of value-reference was God seen as Summum Bonum or the Supreme Good in relation to Whom all things had their measure of value... Truth was One... In Theology and Philosophy, the one Truth was the Word of God, or the Logos. The Logos in some ways manifested itself in human reason so that when one thinks correctly, he was regarded as logical. Logic was called the ‘science of correct thinking.’ In other words, that intellectual and cultural

Ibid. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy. The Lives and Opinions of the Great Philosophers (New York: Washington Square Press, c. 1970), 6.xxvi-xxvii. 21 Hornedo, “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism” Unitas (September, 1995), 53-76. 19 20

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  tradition was centered on the Logos, or Logocentric.”22

Modern philosophy, which began with Francis Bacon (1561-1626), is both a reaction and a continuation of the ancient intellectuality. Through the Novum Organum (1620), which proposed that truth is attainable through induction contrary to deduction as proposed by Aristotle’s Syllogism contained in his Organon. Bacon initiated the tradition of experimental empiricism in Britain.23 Induction is the type of reasoning that begins with the knowledge of particulars to the general.24 Thus, the way to knowledge “was by the inductive process of empirical investigation.”25 Almost at the same time, Rene Descartes (1596-1650), the Father of Modern Philosophy, “established the mechanistic conception of the world as a fundamental philosophical principle of science” with the publication of his book Discourse on Method (1637).26 He was also responsible for the rise of “dualism” or the theory of reality that separates the res cogitans or mind from the res extensa or matter.27 Galileo (1564-1642) combined the experimental empiricism of Bacon with the rationalism of Descartes. The result was a material and mathematical theory of reality or the scientific Ibid., 54. Hunnex, 8. 24 Ibid. 25 Hornedo, “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism,” 54. 26 Scott Gordon, The History and Philosophy of Social Science (London and New York, Routledge, 1991), 69. 27 Hunnex, 41. 22 23

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  method.28 Isaac Newton (1642-1727) went further and claimed that science should separate the human observer from nature being observed.29 This scientific attitude, which is dominant in the contemporary period, is accused by environmentalists as the culprit for the commodification and subsequent degradation of nature.30 Thus, “...Newtonian science saw the rational human observer separate from nature, which enabled nature to be studied in a detached, analytic fashion. This approach has generated a vast amount of knowledge, but it also marginalized a spiritual, emotional or holistic perception of the relationship of humankind in nature, as had been common in earlier civilizations. Nature now became a realm of impersonal objects, to be studied, then ‘conquered’ or exploited by man.”31

The conquest of nature encouraged its packaging “into discrete commodities to be bought and sold.”32 This is “compounded by disciplinary reductionism in which highly specialized disciplines... have sought ‘to explain the whole through the construction of theories specific to their respective perspectives’.”33 Such disposition is what Jones calls the “searchlight effect in which an intense beam of light gives detailed Ibid., 8. Michael Carley and Ian Christie, Managing Sustainable Development (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992), 63. 30 Ibid. 31 Carley and Christie, loc. cit. 32 Ibid. 33 Ibid., 71 28 29

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  knowledge of a part of reality, leaving the rest obscure.”34 Modern scientific method has produced four problems. First, it makes it difficult to understand complex human-nature interactions. Second, it emphasizes “technical solutions to some human problems. Third, it has been applied to the study of humankind itself. Fourth, it promotes the separation of values from human cognition.35 These problems became more pronounced in the 19th century, particularly in the positivism of Auguste Comte (1798-1857), the historical and dialectical materialism of Karl Marx (1818-1883), in the Law of Natural Selection of Charles Darwin (1809-1882), the death of God in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), as well as in the psychology of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). The period is marked by “extensive relativations of all values and the moral and intellectual disorientation of the majority of thinking persons...”36 Modernism produced the First World War, which erupted in 1914, but was subsequently devoured by World War II. Postmodernism The mood after the World War II was characterized by cruel frustration, as well as the perpetration of evil, “in the name of some Ibid. Ibid., 72. 36 Hornedo, “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism,” 57. 34 35

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  fundamental purported truth” as exemplified by Hitler, Lenin and Stalin. The result was a “rejection of the Logocentrism of all the earlier generations and cultures. Man begins with zero-- the starting point. The point of reference is himself, the individual. His thoughts and perceptions are equal to all others. There are no norms to judge anybody. Everyone is self-validating. Here, all men are equal, and no man can impose his notions on the other. Value judgments are based on a Logos, but that Logos is gone, the argument goes. This is the temper of the Potmodern Era.”37

Postmodernism can be portrayed using the themes discussed briefly below. Heterotopia. This refers to what Connor calls a “whole centerless universe.” Power, whether economic or political, is not consigned to one point but scattered throughout the social landscape.38 Anti-logocentrism. This is exemplified by the “secularist stance of Postmodernism” that rejects “grand narratives which purport to explain ultimate reality.”39 Non-commensurability. This refers to the idea that “non-identity is not a difference between two things (subject-object) but exists within each.”40 Ibid., 58. Ibid., 62 39 Ibid., 63-65. 40 Stanley Aronowitz cited by Paul A. Bove in Postmodernism and Politics ed. Jonathan Arac (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), 16, and Hornedo “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism,” 67. 37 38

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Counter-hegemonic oppositionality. This is characterized by a “rejection of hegemony” and the tendency to be “oppositionist to the powerful in all forms of society.”41 Leveling of hierarchies. This may be described by the wide acceptance of the principle of subsidiarity, as well as the tendency to promote a horizontal integration or non-vertical processes of decision-making.42 Contextualism. The view that anything cannot be understood apart from its “historical and circumstantial origins.”43 Concern for popular and mass culture. Mass of popular culture may be defined as “the location in the socio-cultural environment in which converges the different social class interests.”44 This is augmented by globalization of telecommunications and advertising. The period known as Postmodernism is the intellectual temper that brewed the sustainable development paradigm. Although a lot of the concepts related to sustainable development can be traced back to ancient philosophy and science (such as the fusion of value and knowledge pertaining the cosmos) as well as from modern philosophy and Hornedo “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism,” 70. Ibid., 70-72. See also John Naisbitt, Global Paradox: The Bigger the World Economy, The More Powerful Its Smallest Players (New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., c. 1994), 3-15; Carley and Christie, 77, and Hornedo “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism,” 72. 43 Ibid., 72. 44 Ibid., 74. 41 42

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  science (in terms of being an alternative view of nature), sustainable development can be rightfully considered as a product of Postmodernism itself. The influence of this intellectuality includes the following: • The trend toward “political independence and self-rule on the one hand, and the formation of economic alliances on the other”45 in relation to heterotopia; • The rise of the holistic paradigm in relation to anti-logocentrism;46 • The idea that development and high income do not mean one and the same thing, and the growing repulsion of the idea that the development of low-income countries consist in following the footsteps of the now first world or industrial countries in relation to non-commensurability; • The notions of intra- and inter-generational equity in relation to counter-hegemonic oppositionality; • The idea behind the principle of subsidiarity and horizontal integration in relation to the leveling of hierarchies, and • The rise of the holistic paradigm in relation to contextualism, and the rise of environmentalism and sustainable development in relation to the concern for mass and popular culture. CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE 

45 46

Naisbitt, 3-15. Carley and Christie, 77.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  In addition to the intellectual focus of Postmodernism, contemporary philosophy is anthropocentric. Even in contemporary physics, there is an emphasis on the idea that “material reality without consciousness is impossible.”47 Thus, “matter has to be observed by a consciousness: something must sustain it in and above the void of non-being.”48 This idea rests at the very heart of the discussion of the Philosophy of the Human Person. What follows is a thematic presentation of key insights derived from this discipline. In the language of phenomenology, the person is an “embodied subjectivity.”49 Here, the person is “foremost a subjectivity, a unique core or center, source, depth, well-spring of initiative and meaning.”50 The person, however, is not merely a subjectivity “but a subjectivity incarnating itself... The human body is a subject body, already a meaninggiving existence.”51 What this implies to development policy is that since the person is a whole reality, human development has to be total. This calls for a reintegration of disciplines in the area of education in contrast to the mere “conglomeration of disciplines each minding its own task of cultivating a specific part of man.”52 Ibid., 72 . Ibid., 77. 49 Manuel B. Dy Jr., (ed.), Philosophy of Man Selected Readings (Manila: Goodwill Trading Co., Inc., 1986), vi. 50 Ibid. 51 Ibid. 52 Ibid. 47 48

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  A human person is a being-in-the-world, not merely a contingent being existing in an environment. The term environment refers to the lower forms of life and is not applicable to humanity because for a human being the things surrounding him are not mere objects lying out there. Instead, these are a “geometry of figures” and “labyrinth of relationships” whose meaning he both “discovers and discerns”.53 Thus, human consciousness is a consciousness of the world, which is other than consciousness itself.54 What this idea implies is that any development activity has to be directed towards the building of a meaningful and life-giving world and not something that destroys the moral fiber of a community or degrades the world where humans temporalize and realize themselves. A human being, however, is not only a “being-in” but also a “being-with”. A person lives with others, therefore, he is an interhuman and a social being. By virtue of this relationship, a human being does not only live in society; society also lives in him.55 Every human action has a social dimension; it has an implication to someone somewhere. Thus, the idea of human development is also a social one and, as such, it stands in relation to other human beings both in the present and future generations. This is probably one of the reasons why Toynbee explains human history in terms of the challenge-andresponse actions of civilizations because the notion of Ibid., vii. Ibid. 55 Ibid., viii. 53 54

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  progress implies human togetherness, as is evident in the term civilization itself, in which every person is responsible for the welfare of the others.56 Finally love is the mode of being, love understood as a commitment to enhance the wellbeing of a person.57 Such a commitment to love, however, presupposes justice, thus, “Love as the enhancement of the other’s person requires giving to the other his due, his basic dignity as a person. Love is the maximum of justice, justice the minimum of love. The demand of justice cannot be divorced from the existential relationship of man and fellowman, and that is why truth as a value is important. To do justice is to live in the light of truth, to stand witness to it. No genuine social order can last if it establishes itself in deception and manipulation of people’s minds.”58

One implication of this insight is that development must be geared towards the promotion of human dignity, not at the expense of it, and that development must not only be equitable but one which fulfills the requirements of justice. Indeed, much of the philosophical principles underlying sustainable development are derived from the proper understanding of the nature of the human person, his society, his world, and the complex relationships that exist between and among them. As has been shown above, the human, the social, and Ibid. Ibid., ix 58 Ibid. 56 57

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  the cosmos exist together, thus, no development, which attempts to separate them, is possible. The Idea of Progress The idea of progress, which is the nineteenth century term for development, pervades in the western intellectual tradition. It basically involves the conception that “the present is superior to the past” and the “belief that the future will be, or can be, better still”.59 The idea of progress, particularly the benefits derived from more food, decent housing, better health and clothing, became widespread in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In this period, the intellectuals entertained the idea that it was possible to improve the human condition, that man was capable of doing this, and that this was good.60 It was Adam Smith (1723-1790) who said that the main goal of man is to better his condition. In his view, man is a dissatisfied animal, always desiring improvement.61 A necessary constituent of the idea of progress is the notion of a perfect social order, which is the ultimate goal of progress itself.62 In western history, the earliest description of a perfect social order is the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis.63 This was Gordon, 30. Ibid., 150-151. 61 Ibid., 134. 62 Ibid., 155. 63 Ibid., 157. 59 60

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  mimicked by a series of utopias, such as the City of God by St. Augustine (354-430), St. Thomas More’s Utopia ((1516), and the class-less society of Karl Marx (1818-1883), who was the greatest of the modern socialist utopians. According to recent humanities writings, the idea that “Nature is Eden” is dominant in the western civilization through the Judeo-Christian tradition.64 In fact, humanity has always looked for ways to “reestablish the Garden of Eden”. And in this recovery narrative, Greek philosophy served as the “intellectual framework,” mechanistic science and laissez-faire capitalism provided the “master narrative of enlightenment,” and mathematics encouraged the “unification of natural laws into a single framework of explanation.”65 Postmodern intellectuals, however, contest the Enlightenment assumptions of the recovery narrative, “while cultural feminists and environmentalist reverse its plot, depicting a slow decline from a prior golden age, not a progressive ascent to a new garden on earth.”66 The slow decline is manifested by the current environmental crisis and is a central theme in certain writings such as Paul Ehrlich’s “EcoCatastrophe” (1969), the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972), and Bill Mckibfen’s The End of Nature (1989).67 Because of this decline, a recovery 64 William Cronon, “Introduction: In Search of Nature, in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature ed. William Cronon (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996), 23-56. 65 Carolyn Merchant, “Reinventing Eden: Western Culture as a Recovery Narrative” in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, 132-159. 66 Ibid., 154. 67 Ibid., 155-156.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  needs to be put in place by the mid-twenty-first century.68 Thus, “‘Sustainability’ is a new vision of the recovered garden... Environmentalists who press for sustainable development see the recovery as achievable through the spread of nondegrading forms of agriculture and industry... Social ecologists and green parties devise new economic and political structures that overcome the domination of human beings and nonhuman nature... The regeneration of nature and people will be achieved through social and environmental justice. The End Drama envisions a postpatriarchal, socially just ecotopia for the postmillenial world of the twenty-first century.”69

The Environmental Movement Modern environmental movement began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, which argue about the “dangers of such recently-developed agricultural chemicals as DDT, sending the world very specific warnings about the risks of postwar technologies that were producing artificial pesticides and other new chemical products.”70 Carson’s book inspired others to voice out other threats to the quality and integrity of the environment. Some of these writings include Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Boom (1968), Barry Commoner’s The Closing Circle (1971), and the Club Ibid., 156. Ibid. 70 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia CD-ROM (Grolier Electronic Publishing, 68 69

Inc., 1995).

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972), written by a research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These writings stirred awareness among the westerners on the urgent need to protect the resources of the planet from overexploitation and degradation. In the United States, increased awareness was notable in college campuses, which intertwined the environmental issues with the Vietnam War.71 The Earth Day, which was held in April 22, 1970, “was largely a campus-based event that represented perhaps the apogee of the early years of the movement.”72 Soon, environmental organizations from the North and South sprouted and started building up networks and alliances. In 1972, the United Nations (UN) held a Conference on Human Development in Stockholm. The discussions that ensued “placed economic justice at par with the concern of many industrialized nations for environmental protection.”73 In 1980, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) published the World

Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development, which states, in part, that

“A new ethic, embracing plants and animals as well as people, is required for human societies to live in harmony with the natural Ibid. Ibid. 73 J. Ronald Engel, “Introduction: The Ethics of Sustainable Development” in Ethics of Environment and Development. Global Challenge and International Response eds. J. Ronald Engel and J. Gibb Engel ( London: Bellhaven Press, 1990), 1-23. 71 72

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  world on which they depend for survival and well-being. The long-term task of environmental education is to foster or reinforce attitudes and behavior compatible with this new ethic.”74

By 1982, the UN adopted the World Charter for Nature, which recognizes that “every form of life is unique, warranting respect regardless of its worth to man.”75 Four years later, the term sustainable development acquired fame with the publication of the WCED’s Our Common Future in 1986. The Brundtland Report describes sustainable development as a development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the capability of the future generations to meet their own needs. The term was among the key ideas during the Earth Summit or the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

74 IUCN, The World Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development (Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 1980) cited in Engel and Engel, 3. 75 Engel and Engel, loc. cit.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique 


The Meaning of Sustainable Development

The central message of the concept of sustainable development is the satisfaction of fundamental human needs for a long period of time.1 Manfred Max-Neef, identifies ten fundamental human needs: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, idleness, creation, identity, freedom, and transcendence.2 These needs, in contrast to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “are interacting in a systematic way...with the exception of the need for subsistence which...has priority over the others.”3 The idea that sustainable development aims to satisfy fundamental human needs rather than basic or essential needs as what the Brundtland Report 1 Arne Jernelov, “The Principle of Sustainable Development,” in On the General principles of Environmental Protection. Swedish Government Official Reports 1994:69 (Stockholm: Swedish Environmental Advisory Council, 1994), 11. See also David Reid, Sustainable Development An Introductory Guide (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1995), 69-88, and World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), 46 (hereafter referred to as WCED). 2 Reid, 83. 3 Ibid.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  suggests is a departure from the conventional view of development “with its assumption that there is a simple relationship between the production of material goods and the fulfilling of human need.”4 As Max-Neef argues, people-centered development must not only increase the material standards of people but also better the quality of their lives.5 The fulfillment of fundamental human needs can only happen through a synergic satisfaction of such needs. A synergic satisfier is one which can “satisfy a given need and also contribute to the fulfillment of other needs.”6 A good example of this is a mother feeding her baby. In the process of feeding, she does not only meet her baby’s need for subsistence but also the need for protection, affection, and identity.7 Justice and Love: The Heart of Sustainable Development Fundamental human needs are inherent in human beings. As long as a person is a person, he is not devoid of natural wants or needs. The intrinsicality of needs means that all human beings both in the present and future generations have needs. In fact, needs “are the same in all cultures and have been virtually the same throughout history,

Ibid. Ibid., 82. 6 Ibid., 85. 7 Ibid. 4 5

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  changing only at the pace of the evolution of the human species.”8 What this implies is that sustainable development is a commitment to satisfy the fundamental human needs of the present and future generations. Thus, sustainable development implies inter and intragenerational equity.9 Intergenerational equity means meeting the needs of the present and future generations10 while intragenerational equity means the just and fair distribution of and access to resources among the existing people of the world.11 The concept of equity is best understood in the context of justice, which is the foundation of any social order.12 Justice is giving what is due to a person, i.e., fulfilling his fundamental human need.13 But justice is the minimum of love, and love is the maximum justice.14 Love, which is to will and to take steps to promote the well-being of people, cuts across generations, across places, and across time.15 Love and justice lie at the very core of the concept of sustainable development. Indeed, sustainable development only becomes meaningful if it is able to meet the demands of love and justice.

Ibid., 83. WCED, 8. 10 Ibid. See also Michael Jacobs, The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development, and Politics of the Future (London: Pluto Press, 1991), 60. 11 Jacobs, loc. cit. 12 Dy Jr., Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, ix. 13 Ibid. This illustration of love can be disputed, as Florentino Hornedo pointed out in one of our classes, but helpful in as far as sending the message across is concerned. 14 Ibid. 15 Ibid. 8 9

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The commitment of sustainable development to the fundamental option to love is not divorced from the idea of fundamental option for the poor because “the concept of needs refers, in particular to the essential needs of the world’s poor...”16 The idea of justice and love suggests a bias to the “least disadvantaged in society.”17 Thus, the first function of sustainable development is the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, especially the needs of the helpless, the poor and the marginalized. Sustainable Use and Management of Natural Capital18 That human beings use the material resources of the planet for their subsistence is beyond question. Human beings, however, do not only use the material resources in order to live. Human life, itself, is sustained by the fundamental ecological processes of nature, such as the natural capacities and services. Thus, the natural capital, as a life support system, is essential for the satisfaction of fundamental human needs. As discussed above, sustainable development aims to satisfy fundamental human needs for a long period of time. The time scale “must be long in relation to a human lifetime” and “must be longer WCED, 40. David Pearce, Edward Barbier and Anil Markandya, Sustainable Development Economics and Environment in the Third World (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1990), 14. 18 Natural capital is the collective term for material resources, natural capacities and services. See Reid, 91. 16 17

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  than our normal planning perspectives.”19 Jernelov explains:


“...if it is also to be longer than the time scales involved in the development of civilizations and technology in agriculture and mining, we are talking about millennia. If we are also to take biological evolution into account, along with succession in the ecosystem and climatological processes, we are talking about hundreds of millennia. Perhaps a couple of thousand years could serve as an acceptable ‘unlimitation’.”20

The sustained or long-term fulfillment of fundamental human needs hinges on the sustainable use and management of the natural capital. The sustainable use of material resources observes five principles. One, the consumption of renewable resources should not exceed their capacity to regenerate. Two, the consumption of renewable resources must not degrade the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Three, the consumption of nonrenewable resources should be minimal. Four, a “proportion of nonrenewable resources should be set aside for the physical manufacture of renewable substitutes and the development of such substitutes should be given priority in resource consumption”. Five, the consumption of nonrenewable resources should be within minimum strategic levels.21

Arne Jernelov, “The Principle of Sustainable Development,” 12. Ibid. 21 Reid, 105. 19 20

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The sustainable management of natural capital observes four principles. One, the assimilative and regenerative capacity of the environment should not be degraded. Two, the assimilative and regenerative capacities of the environment should not be used for the dispersal of stock wastes or non-biodegradable substances. Three, the natural life-support systems must not be destabilized. Four, environmental quality must not be degraded.22 In brief, one of the implications of sustainable development is that the environment “should be protected in such a condition and to such a degree that environmental capacities (the ability of the environment to perform its various functions) are maintained over time: at least at levels sufficient to avoid future catastrophe, and at most at levels which give future generations the opportunity to enjoy an equal measure of environmental consumption.”23

Environmental protection is inherent in sustainable development. In fact, the idea of sustainability emerged “out of the need to define what is meant by environmental protection.”24 In the philosophy of the Annales historians represented by Fernand Braudel, editor of the Annales: economies, societies, civilisations from 1956 to 1972, there are three layers of historical time: (1) Ibid. Jacobs, 80. 24 Ibid. 22 23

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  the short time-span, (2) the intermediate range of change or conjunctores, and (3) the long span duration or histoire de la longue duree.25 The first is what Stuart Clark calls the “fast-moving time of microhistory, the time of the instant and the immediate,” the second refers to the “time taken by the broader movements of economies, social structures, political institutions and civilizations,”26 and the third is the “domain of man’s biological, geophysical and climatic circumstances, of ‘man in his intimate relationship to the earth which bears and feeds him’.”27 Based on this philosophical framework, sustainable development operates on three layers of historical time: (1) the short time-span by fulfilling the needs of the present generation, (2) the conjunctores by integrating environmental considerations in decision-making, refining current government policies, creating social structures and political institutions conducive to sustainable development, etc., and (3) the long span duration by ensuring that future generations of human beings can meet their fundamental needs and by sustainably using and managing natural capital.28 Ecological Foundations of Sustainable Development


Hornedo, “Theories of History,” in Nature, Science and Values Readings, 317-

352. Ibid., 346-347. Ibid., 347. 28 The development of this idea is much indebted to Prof. Florentino H. Hornedo’s treatment of the historiography of the Annales historians. See Ibid., 348-349. 26 27

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Sustainable development as satisfying the fundamental human needs over time depends on the quality and integrity of natural capital. It would be meaningless to talk of sustainable development when there is an extreme scarcity and degradation of natural capital. As has been shown above, human life is sustained by the material resources, capacities and services of nature. Thus, sustainable development includes the notion of natural capital protection and enhancement or environmental management. The management of natural capital for sustainable development can take off from a proper understanding of the nature and implications of ecological laws or principles, namely, conservation, reuse, restoration, adaptability, carrying capacity, and renewable resource use. These are briefly described below. CONSERVATION 

In essence, conservation is “using only what is needed” or the frugal and efficient use of material resources.29 This principle is based on the “observable consumption pattern of organisms”, which use only the resources necessary for their subsistence. In other words, organisms have natural wants, in contrast to human beings who have unnatural wants. The satisfaction of these natural wants does not demand resources over and beyond what is biologically necessary.

29 Daniel Chiras, Environmental Science. Action for a Sustainable Future (California: the Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Inc., 1994), inside back cover.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The implication of this principle is that human beings should be more efficient in using the material resources and by being such “we can significantly reduce energy demand, habitat damage, pollution, and ensure a steady supply of resources for future generations.”30 Since the environmental crisis is the product of the “reduction in the abundance of the natural environment,”31 the solution of this crisis can start by maintaining or enhancing the supply of material resources. RECYCLING OR REUSE 

Recycling or reuse means using resources more than once.32 This is important to make the principle of conservation operational. The concept of reuse takes off from the law of nature which states that matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Because of this law, “everything ultimately becomes waste, and returns in some form to the environment.”33 The wastes that are beyond the capacity of the environment to recycle are called stored wastes or pollution. These wastes can have negative impacts to the natural environment.34 Thus, recycling is important because it “saves energy and reduces all forms of pollution. It stretches the limited supplies of finite resources and protects wildlife habitat. It also creates employment and business opportunities.35 Ibid. Jacobs, 3. 32 Ibid., 4. 33 Ibid. 34 Ibid., 4-8. 35 Chiras, inside back cover. 30 31

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Nature operates “broadly around equilibria or can be manipulated to approximate steady states following human intervention.”36 This is also referred to as homeostasis, a state of relative constancy in organisms and ecosystems,” a kind of “dynamic equilibrium.”37 In other words, nature maintains a delicate balance and has the capacity of healing itself when damaged at a level within its carrying capacity. Meanwhile, human beings can, and should, help nature in restoring ecological balance. The value of restoring “natural systems and the plant and animal communities that once thrived in them” lies in the benefits human and non-human beings can derive from it, such as the “sustainable flow of resources as well as innumerable free services” like flood control and waste assimilation.38 CARRYING CAPACITY 

Carrying capacity is defined as the maximum “population size that a given ecosystem can support for an indefinite period of time or on a sustainable basis.”39 Two types of carrying capacities can be distinguished: • Ecological or biophysical carrying capacity or the “maximal population size which can be

36 Timothy O’Riordian, “The Politics of Sustainability” in Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice, 29-50. 37 Chiras, 581. 38 Ibid., inside back cover. 39 Ibid., 577.

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maintained by nature with a given technology within a specific areas,” and Societal carrying capacity, which is the maximal population size which can be supported given the different social systems.”40

The principle of carrying capacity is also referred to as the principle of tolerance and limits of nature and includes the idea that certain processes in nature, such as the growth and propagation of trees, take a lot of time and require enough species diversity in order to happen. Thus, the consumption of resources should not go beyond the point wherein fundamental ecological processes are impaired.41 Put differently, the “societal carrying capacity must stay within ecological carrying capacity.”42 ADAPTABILITY

The term adaptation means the “genetically determined structural or functional characteristic of an organism that enhances its chances of reproducing and passing on its genes.”43 It enables the natural systems to persist by adapting to change. This principle implies that human society “must adapt to changes it has created through cultural changes -changes in our ethics and our way of living and 40 Swedish Environmental Advisory Council, Trade and the Environment - Towards a Sustainable Playing Field (Stockholm: Swedish Environmental Advisory Council, 1994), 16. 41 Delfin Ganapin Jr., “Principles of Sustainable Development” paper delivered at the Workshop on Developing an Environmental Management Framework and an Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation System for the Cagayan de Oro - Iligan Corridor, Midway White Beach Resort, Initao, Misamis Oriental, Philippines, 30 August to 1 September, 1995. 42 Swedish Environmental Advisory Council, 16. 43 Chiras, 578.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  conducting business.”44 Hence, human beings should not continue the excessive and destructive pattern of consumption in the face of the current environmental crisis. RENEWABLE RESOURCE USE 

The environment has renewable resources or those that are replaced by the fundamental ecological processes like water, plants, animals, sunlight and wind.45 The principle of renewable resource use implies that human society should constantly seek better ways of using renewable resources than the non-renewable resources. As has been shown above, however, the extraction of renewable resources should be equal or less than the capacity of these resources to regenerate and must not destroy biological diversity. Metaphysical Foundations of Sustainable Development Being, in metaphysics, is anything conceivable.46 By this definition, everything in nature is a being. It is correct then to say that sustainable development concerns being. In fact, sustainable development itself is a being and it is intended for the benefit of beings.

Ibid., inside back cover. Ibid., 586. 46 Claro R. Ceniza, Metaphysics A Study of the Structure of Metaphysical Inquiry (Manila: Research Center, De La Salle University, 1984), 112. 44 45

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  There are five transcendental properties of being that are relevant in understanding the nature of sustainable development. These are unity, separateness or ontic multiplicity, truth, goodness and beauty. The discussion of these properties is important because in the “philosophical tradition, the fundamental problems concerning reality, which as a group were called metaphysica, were regarded as the basic core of philosophy and the foundation of the sciences.”47 UNITY 

The epistemological expression of transcendental unity is the principle of noncontradiction which states that being is not nonbeing.48 In simple terms, anything that exists cannot be said to be non-existent at the same time. The idea of the unity of being implies that nature is one. This notion approximates what has been described above in the concept of holism. As a unity, nature is a system; it is composed of parts that are essential for the proper functioning of the whole and each part is related with everything else. Thus, in nature there is a “metaphysics of harmony,” or “preestablished arrangement.”49 In the Gaia hypothesis of Dr. James Lovelock, the “Earth functions like a living organism, maintaining the optimal condition for life through an intricate system of checks and balances.”50 47 Mieczyslaw Albert Krapiec, Metaphysics An Outline of the History Being (New York, San Francisco, Bern, Frankfurt am Main, Paris and London: Peter Lang, 1991), 3. 48 Ibid., 119-120. 49 Gordon, 214. 50 Ranjit Kumar and Barbara Murck, On Common Grounds: Managing HumanPlanet Relationships (Toronto: John Wiley and Sons, 1992), 74.

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Every being, which is a unity, is “something determinate in itself, existing, and at the same time, not identical with any other being and unity.”51 Put differently, everything is separate and distinct from other things. Hence, the “concept of separateness is a judgment of ontic differences, that is, in a judgment affirming the pluralism of beings.”52 The separateness or multiplicity of being confirms the pluralistic structure of the world. In the natural sciences, this idea is the basis of, for instance, the concept of biological diversity. TRUTH

Being is the object of knowing or intellectual cognition. Indeed, the whole of intellectual cognition is connected with being, it concerns being, and there is nothing in thought that was not somehow derived from being.”53 Thus, being is rational, that is, knowable or intelligible. The truth of human cognition or the conformity of the mind and the thing is called logical truth.54 It is different from ontic truth, the object of interest in metaphysics, which is the “ordination of being to the intellect upon which the given thing is dependent.”55 Based on this distinction, there are two Krapiec, 133. Ibid. 53 Ibid., 139. 54 Ibid., 144. 55 Ibid., 146. 51 52

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  types of ontic truths: the truth of being according to a plan designed by the Divine Intellect, and the truth of being in relation to the human intellect.56 As has been shown above, every reality is not devoid of a consciousness that perceives it. As such, there are two types of natures: nature as known and nature as the object of knowing. These apparently two different natures exist in complex relationship with one another. For example, human beings treat nature in the way they perceive it. Thus, sustainable development only becomes meaningful if it is consistent with the true nature of human beings, the environment, and the relationship between and among them. GOODNESS 

If being is ordered to the intellect, being is also ordered to desire. Being is good because it is “willed by the will of the Absolute.”57 The essence of this goodness is that it is the “necessary and transcendental relation of beings to the Absolute’s desire,” that is, it is free, non-necessary, love.58 This ordination of being to the Absolute’s love implies that “the being can awaken love toward itself in other contingent beings. Contingent beings are ... the ‘materialized’ love of the Absolute, who communicates the ‘motion of love’ to other beings.”59

Ibid., 147 Ibid., 153. 58 Ibid., 166. 59 Ibid. 56 57

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The goodness of being is of divine origin. Indeed, the “utterance of God in Himself is the world; the world, therefore, is His message.”60 Thus, the cosmos is the outward “sign of an inward grace”61 and must be treated as such. BEAUTY 

Every being is beautiful. The perception of the beauty of being follows after an awareness of the truth and goodness of being.62 Moreover, beauty flows from the ordination of being to the intellect and will of the Absolute.63 Thus, the wanton destruction and degradation of the environment destroys the transcendental property of being as beautiful. This also leads to the idea that the degradation of the cosmos contravenes the very reason why it “is” or “exists”. Using the language of the philosophy of being, sustainable development, in the light of the foregoing discussion, can be described as promoting the transcendental properties of being. It is a commitment to enhance the well-being of all people always, and at the same time a resolution to ensure that the world is fit for human habitation from now on. Economic Dimension of Sustainable Development

60 Abercio V. Rotor, “Light in the Woods: A Photo Poetry About Ecology,” UST Journal of Graduate Research (October 1996), 1-7. 61 Ibid., 1. 62 Krapiec, 179. 63 Ibid.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Economics is described as the “study of how humans make use of available productive resources (including their own labors and skills) to produce goods and services for human use.”64 The production of goods and services requires the utilization of the material resources of the planet. Its goal is to meet fundamental human needs. Thus, the aim of economics is growth or development, which is the “process by which the members of a society increase their personal and industrial capacities to utilize and manage resources to produce sustainable and justly distributed improvements in quality of life consistent with their own aspirations.”65 The idea behind economic growth or development is the view that humans are dissatisfied animals, constantly seeking improvement. Adam Smith said that the main goal of man is the betterment of his condition. This, he said, is due to a “desire which, though generally calm and dispassionate, comes with us from the womb, and never leaves us until we go into the grave. In the whole interval which separates those two moments, there is scarce perhaps a single instant in which any man is completely satisfied with his situation, as to be without any wish of alteration or improvement of any kind.”66

Gordon, 88. D. Korton, Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda (West Hatford, CT.: Kumarian Press, 1990) quoted in Carley and Christie, 41. 66 Gordon, 134. 64 65

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Such human desire for progress is not limited to the self alone but also implies the placement of “value on improvement in the condition of others.”67 The economic system operates inside the ecological space. As a subset of the ecological system, it is not isolated but is confined “within the boundaries of a global ecosystem with finite capacities to produce fresh water, form new top soil, and absorb pollution. As a subset of the biosphere, the economy cannot outgrow its physical limits and remain intact.”68 Lester Brown adds: “One useful measure of the economy’s size relative to the earth’s life-supporting capacity is the share of the planet’s photosynthetic product now devoted to human activity. ‘Net primary production’ is the amount of solar energy fixed by green plants through photosynthesis minus the energy used by those plants themselves. It is, in essence, the planet’s total food resource--the biochemical energy that supports all forms of animal life, from earthworms to humans... 40 percent of the earth’s annual net primary production on land now goes directly to meet human needs or is indirectly used or destroyed by human activity--leaving 60 percent for the millions of other land-based species which humans share the planet.”69

Ibid. Lester Brown, Christopher Flavin, and Sandra Poster, Saving the Planet How to Shape and Environmentally Sustainable Global Economy (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992), 116. 69 Ibid. 67 68

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of the quality and integrity of the natural capital. The moment economic activities go beyond ecological limits, what happens is an environmental crisis or a “reduction in the abundance of the natural environment.”70 An environmental crisis is also an economic crisis. It is a product of economic activities and “undermines the very functions on which the economy depends.”71 To solve the crisis, there should be a reduction in the economy’s consumption of natural capital.72 GROWTH VERSUS LOW OR NO GROWTH 

From the economic standpoint, there are two groups that promote sustainable development. The first one proposes continuing economic growth that takes into consideration environmental concerns in order to improve living standards, as well as break the cycle of poverty and environmental degradation. The second group proposes a low or zero economic growth.73 Based on this distinction, the WCED of the United Nations (UN) belongs to the first group, “even equating sustainable development with more rapid economic growth in both industrial and developing countries.”74 According to the UN, Jacobs, 3. Ibid., 11. 72 Reid, 112-113. 73 Carley and Christie, 42. 74 Ibid. 70 71

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  “sustainable development does not imply cessation of economic growth. Rather, it requires recognition that the problems of poverty and underdevelopment and related environmental problems cannot be solved without vigorous economic growth. Sustainable development will require changes in the current patterns of growth, to make them less resource and energy intensive and more equitable.”75

The idea of low or zero growth comes from the Green movement. The argument is that “it is economic growth which is the primary cause of environmental degradation; therefore, the objective of policy should be ‘no growth’.”76 Such a cessation of economic growth shall be accompanied by a “change of lifestyles and an equitable redistribution of income.”77 While the low or no growth approach to sustainable development “can only be a very long term strategy, politically inconceivable under any circumstances,” the “business as usual” mentality is not an acceptable option.78 What human beings require are “sustainable growth to improve human development and environmental protection in the poor world” and “radical policy change,” and a “movement towards steady-state or steady-flow economic development in many aspects of the

75 United Nations (UN), Global Outlook 2000 An Economic, Social and Environmental Perspective (United States of America: UN Publications, 1990), 175. 76 Jacobs, 53. 77 Carley and Christie, 42. 78 Ibid., 43.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  industrial world patterns.”79





A steady-state economy is one which “keeps within limits of population throughputs of industrial goods and inequality.”80 Being ecological in orientation, it is a dynamic strategy “for forcing qualitative improvement and sustainability.”81 Alexander calls it “steady flow.” He explains: “Steady flow...means movement and process. Steady flow is like a dependable river or stream. Flowing merrily along many interesting things happen in unexpected and exciting ways. The size of the stream flow, the quantitative aspects change little. Qualitative limitation on the use of the earth’s resources allow the regenerative capacity of Gaia to remain constant or increase.”82

Herman Daly, a World Bank environmental specialist, notes that the idea of a steady-state economy is an old one. He recalls John Stuart Mill’s concept of stationary state in “Principles of Political Economy” that Mill published in 1848. Daly also points out that except for the past two centuries, “for most of the history of mankind, nearly steady-state conditions held.”83

Ibid., 78. Ibid., 47. 81 Ibid. 82 W. Alexander, “A Sustainable Human Ecology” paper delivered to the Conference on Human Responsibility and Global Change, Gootebrog, 1991 quoted in Carley and Christie, 47. 83 Carley and Christie, 47. 79 80

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Two concepts are embodied in the notion of a steady-state economy: equitable distribution of income or social justice, and sustainable production and consumption. In this paper, the discussion of social justice is covered under the heading “Moral Philosophy of Sustainable Development” where it deserves to be treated. SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION 

Sustainable production and consumption involves the enhancement of “environmental quality through the efficient production and use of natural resources, the minimization of wastes, and the optimization of products and services.”84 Based on the criteria developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a sustainable production and consumption (1) stimulates market forces, (2) promotes more efficient use of materials and energy, (3) establishes pricing systems that internalize environmental cost, (4) supports recycling and reuse (considering overall life-cycle effects), (5) provides flexibility to choose effective solutions, (6) supports a process of continuous improvement, (7) stimulates economic growth, (8) promotes innovation, (9) minimizes trade barriers, and (10) encourages technology and systems sharing.85 In line with this, the Unites Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) encourages business to integrate environmental criteria into its purchasing policies, design more 84 Edwin Falkman, Sustainable Production and Consumption: A Business Perspective (Word Business Council for Sustainable Development, n.d.), 7. 85 Ibid., 8.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  efficient products and processes, increase the life spans for durable goods, improve after-sales service, reuse and recycle, and promote sustainable consumption through advertising, marketing and product information.86 The initiatives of WBCSD and UNCSD find support from the Oslo Ministerial Roundtable in February 1995 which defines sustainable production and consumption as the “production and use of goods and services that respond to basic human needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of material resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations.”87

The WBCSD and UNCSD initiatives also led to the development of industrial ecology that involves the efficient use of resources, extension of the life cycle of products, pollution prevention, recycling and reuse, and the establishment of eco-industrial parks.88 Thus, industrial ecology promotes the (1) efficient and sustainable use of material resources and energy, (2) extension of the useful life of products, (3) prevention of pollution at any point in the product cycle through operational, technical or behavioral changes as well as process substitution, product reformulations or housekeeping improvement, (4) reduction in the “consumption of virgin materials” and diversion of “waste from final disposals in

Ibid., 9. Ibid. 88 Ibid., 14 86 87

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  landfills,” and (5) the attraction of “business that we can feed off one another.”89 GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH 

Several environmental principles, which any economic activity should observe, have been developed and accepted during the past few years. Of these principles, the principle of sustainable development is the most comprehensive and is treated in this paper as the umbrella principle for all the other principles. Ecocyle society principles. An ecocycle society is one “in which the flows of various materials within society have been reduced and closed to such an extent that the flows from society to the environment do not exceed the limits of sustainability.”90 It applies the principles of “cyclic materials management” in order to reduce and close the flows of materials to the extent that (1) the materials that society produce can be incorporated to the natural cycle without impairing the natural capacities and services, (2) there is a reduction in the use and extraction of nonrenewable resources, and (3) the natural capital meets fundamental human needs “without extraction exceeding growth in inflow.”91 Critical loads. Critical load refers to the “highest load at which no harm is caused to the Ibid., 20 Bjorn Wallen, “The Principles of the Ecocycle Society” in On the General Principles of Environmental Protection, 21-34. 91 Ibid., 28. 89 90

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  environment, even after long-term exposure.”92 This implies that any economic activity should ensure that its negative impacts to the environment remain at a level which is not significant.93 Thus, the carrying capacity of the environment is taken into due consideration in economic planning and project implementation. Precautionary principle. This principle “can be said to be a philosophical expression of the selfpreservation instinct that we all tend to apply in all our actions.”94 In practice, it means to “modify the manufacture, marketing or use of products or services to the conduct of activities, consistent with scientific and technical understanding to prevent serious or irreversible environmental degradation.”95 In essence, the principle means that prevention is always better than cure, thus, the exploitation of natural capital “which causes significant damage to the ecological balance must be avoided.”96 In the Rio Declaration, the precautionary principle finds its way in Principle 15 which states: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full

92 Henning Rodhe, “The Concept of Critical Loads” in On the General Principles of Environmental Protection, 35-43. 93 Jacobs, 93. 94 Arne Jernelov, The Precautionary Principle” in On the General principles of Environmental Protection, 45-51. 95 Richford Welfor and Andrew Gouldson, Environmental Management and Business Strategy (London: Pitman Publishing, 1993), 2-3. 96 Ibid., 19.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”97

In the words of John Pezzey, the “precautionary principle aims to achieve maximal reductions in pollution using the ‘best available technology’.”98 The basis of the Substitution principle. substitution principle is the idea “that substances and products which present a danger to health and the environment are to be substituted by less dangerous ones.”99 This principle is a feature of current Swedish law, particularly in Act (1985:426) on Chemical Products, which states that: “Anyone handling or importing a chemical product shall take such steps and otherwise observe such precautions as are necessary to prevent or minimize harm to human beings or to the environment. This includes avoiding chemical products for which less hazardous substitutes are available.”100

Best available technology (BAT) principle. The BAT principle “represents a formalization of common sense.”101 The European Commission’s proposed new Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control dated September 1993 explained this principle, thus Jernelov, “The Precautionary Principle,” 45-46. John Pezzey, “Market Mechanisms of Pollution Control: Polluter Pays, Economic and Practical Aspects” in Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice, 190242. 99 Jernelov, “The Substitution Principle” in On the General principles of Environmental Protection, 53-58. 100 Ibid., 53. 101 Sven-Olov Ericson, “The Best Available Technology Principle” in On the General principles of Environmental Protection, 59-71. 97 98

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The term ‘Best Available Techniques’ signifies the latest stage of development (state of the art) of activities, processes and their methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular technique for preventing, or where that is not practicable, minimizing emissions to the environment as a whole.”102

The term “techniques” includes the technology used and how it is designed. In addition, it has to be industrially feasible.103 “Available” in BAT refers to “existing technologies or procedures that can be applied at a reasonable cost.”104 The term “best” refers to the technology which has the ‘greatest purification effect or the lowest emissions and which is in commercial application somewhere in the world.”105 Polluter pays principle (PPP). The polluter pays principle, as the term implies, means that the polluter pays for the cost of pollution.106 It has five implications: (1) it covers the cost of environmental protection, (2) it covers pollution and control measures to promote the efficient use of limited material resources, (3) it covers the cost of pollution control and cleanup, and compensation to victims or to those who suffer damage from pollution, (4) it ensures the “effective distribution of the responsibility for cost and that it neither imposes demands nor Ibid., 59. Ibid., 60. 104 Ibid. 105 Ibid., 61. 106 Per Kageson, The Polluter Pays Principle” in On the General principles of Environmental Protection, 73-96. 102 103

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  excludes the possibility of reducing pollution to an optimum level,” and (5) it includes the “internationalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments.”107 Extended product responsibility (EDR) principle. The extended product responsibility is an “emerging principle that approach to identify strategic opportunities for pollution prevention and resource conservation.”108 Based on this principle, the manufacturers, suppliers, users, and disposers of products have the collective responsibility for the “environmental effects of products and wastes streams.”109 Social and Political Philosophy of Sustainable Development In the discussion on the philosophy of the human person, a person, defined as an embodied subjectivity, is a consciousness whose consciousness is consciousness of something other than consciousness itself. The intentionality of human consciousness affirms the social and political nature of human beings. In the thinking of Aristotle, the rationality of man signifies his political nature.110

Ibid., 75-80. Falkman, 23. 109 Ibid. 110 Agerico M. de Villa, Social-Political Philosophy (Quezon City: Katha Publishing Co., Inc., 1992), 60. 107 108

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Every person desires what is good, not only the good for himself but also the good of others.111 The search for the good, which ultimately translates to the search for happiness, can be realized under a civil community or state. Aristotle explains: “As the State was formed to make life possible, so it exists to make life good.”112 In the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704), the establishment of the state is through a social contract. He says: “For ‘tis not very compact that put an end to the state of nature between men, but only this one of agreeing together mutually to enter into one community and make one body politic...”113 NATION AND NATURE 

The term “nature” comes from the Latin word natura meaning birth. The word “nation”114 also derives from the same root word. Just as giving birth requires physical love, the nation is understood in the context of the “nature born who is the product not only of physical love but the love that binds the nation together.”115 The idea of love “generates the inborn character, or nature of its environment.”116 This way of explaining the common origin of the terms “nature” and “nation” is related to the idea Ibid. Ibid. 113 Ibid., 127. 114 A nation is a cultural conglomeration of people. A state may be composed of one or more states. 115 Kenneth R. Olwig, “Reinventing Common Nature: Yosemite and Mount Rushmore -- A Meandering Tale of a Double Nature” in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, 379-408. 116 Ibid., 386. 111 112

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  that Gaia, the Goddess of the Earth, gave birth to Themis, the Goddess of Law or Justice.117 Under this analogy, Gaia represents nature while Themis represents the state because a state operates within the framework of law or justice.118 And in like manner that Gaia “nourishes and cares for all creatures as her own children,”119 the state has the duty to fulfill what Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) calls the “achievement of civilizations”, which is said to be sustainable development.120 POLITICAL DIMENSION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

In the philosophy of Hobbes, the “consent of the governed is the pre-condition for the ‘achievement of civilizations’.”121 In Jeanne-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the “consent of the governed” is embodied in what he calls the “general will” while the “achievement of civilizations” approximates what he calls the “common good.”122 Here the “idea of self-government is posited as an end, in itself, and a political order is proposed in which the affairs of the state are integrated into the affairs of the citizens.”123 Following the ideas of John Stuart Mill, the “role of participation in democracy, particularly concern about the nature of pluralism, became a focus of political philosophy.”124 117 O’Riordian, “The Politics of Sustainability” in Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice, 29-50. 118 de Villa, 124-126. 119 O’Riordian, op. cit., 29-30. 120 Carley and Christie, 85. 121 Ibid. 122 Ibid., 87. 123 Ibid. 124 Ibid., 90.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  It is proper to say then that sustainable development, with its commitment to equity and environmental protection, is primarily a political process. According to the WCED, equity “would be aided by political systems that secure effective citizen participation in decision-making and by greater democracy in international decision-making.”125 In addition, the notion of environmental protection is “primarily a matter of public policy, decided (at least in broad terms) in the political arena.”126 That is why one of the proposed legal principles for environmental protection and sustainable development included in the WCED report states that: “States shall conserve and use the environment and natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.”127 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

Sustainable development as a continuing and cumulative process is “based on millions of right decisions at all levels of management from the global to the local.”128 In the action-centered network approach to environmental management as proposed by Carley and Christie, the process of discussion and debate is essential, thus, it should gradually broaden and deepen “into practical action on issues of sustainable development.”129 Such a process should promote (1) active participation in conditions of equality, based on teamwork, (2) WCED, 8. Jacobs, 81. 127 WCED, 348-351. 128 Carley and Christie, 12. 129 Ibid., 41. 125 126

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  mutual, non-hierarchical learning-by-doing (action learning) intended to develop new perceptions, skills and confidence, (3) horizontal integration between various sectors like agriculture, health, transport, housing, etc., and vertical integration between policy making groups, including big business and community levels, and (4) collective selfdevelopment and self-management.130 Since it is through the “collective political choices” that sustainability will realized, sustainable development requires democratization or “equality of power among environmental stakeholders” to facilitate people’s “taking control of their own environments, and thus ‘owning’ both problem and solution.”131 In other words, people should not only bear the cost and responsibility of environmental problems in their communities, they should be afforded the authority to solve such problems. Hence, the conventional “top-down” approach to development should be complemented, if not replaced, by “place-based” and “bottom-up” approaches to make sustainable development hit the ground.132 In the words of Max-Neef: “Development geared to the satisfaction of fundamental human needs cannot, by definition, be structured from the top downwards. It cannot be imposed whether by law or by decree. It can only emanate directly from the actions, expectations, and Ibid. Ibid., 80-81. 132 Gilbert C. Braganza, “Philippine Community-Based Forest Management” in Environmental Change in South-East Asia. People Politics and Sustainable Development eds. Michael J.G. Parnwell and Raymond L. Bryant (London and New York, Routledge, 1996), 311329. 130 131

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  creative and critical awareness of the protagonist themselves. Instead of being the traditional objects of development, people must take a leading role in development.”133

This can only happen, however, when people are conscientisized to the level that they become aware of their civic duty to the state in contrast to the belief that the state through all its instrumentalities has the sole responsibility of securing the well-being of its citizens.134 This approximates to what contemporary philosopher Paul Ricoeur calls the promotion of the rationality of the state, that is, to bring about a “planetary consciousness” or the awareness that humans belong to a “single human experience”135 and that they are each other’s keeper. Moral Philosophy of Sustainable Development Ethics or moral philosophy as the science of the rightness or wrongness of human conduct136 rests on the nature of a person being an incarnate subjectivity or being a “structural Being, based upon interiority, spiritually determined and creative.”137 As a self-realizing consciousness, the person temporalizes and realizes himself in a world of objects and subjects

Reid, 85. Michael J.G. Parnwell and Raymond L. Bryant, “Conclusion Towards Sustainable Development in South-East Asia” in Environmental Change in South-East Asia. People Politics and Sustainable Development, 320-343. 135 Leovino Ma. Garcia, “The Political Structure of Society: Paul Ricoeur’s View on Politics and the State” in Contemporary Social Philosophy ed. Manuel B. Dy Jr. (Quezon City: JMC Press, Inc., 1994), 37-45. 136 Durant, 532. 137 Rodulph H. Visker, “Man and Absolute” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, 257-269. 133 134

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  with which he is in constant interaction.138 Being such, human actions “always presuppose an interpretation of what is going on and of what may be expected as its consequence.”139 In Aristotelian philosophy, all men ultimately aim for happiness, which is the supreme good, in all their actions.140 What defines a moral action, therefore, is the greatest good “for that action is moral precisely which helps us realize the supreme good or summum bonum.”141 Sustainable development as an alternative social paradigm “requires a shift in types of moral reasoning”142 In fact, sustainable development is perceived as a “new holistic ethic in which economic growth and environmental protection go hand-inhand around the world.”143 Thus, the issues of sustainability embrace “ethical norms pertaining to the survival of living matter, to the rights of future generations and to institutions responsible for ensuring that such rights are fully taken into account in policies and actions.”144 In addition, as has been shown above, the concept of sustainable development is tied up to the concept of “progress” which is prominent in the modern intellectual tradition. Now, the concept of 138 Robert O. Johann, “The Nature of Philosophical Inquiry” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, 7-16. 139 Ibid., 9. 140 Pedro Gabriel, “Moral Values and the Natural Sciences” in Nature, Science and Values Readings ed. Norberto Castillo (Manila: Santo Tomas University Press, 1988), 1-12. 141 Ibid., 4. 142 J. Ronald Engel, “Ethics of Sustainable Development” in Ethics of Environment and Development. Global Challenge and International Response, 1-23. 143 Ibid., 1. 144 O’Riordian, “The Politics of Sustainability” in Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice, 29-50.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  “progress” is an “evaluative one, involving judgment as to what is good and bad, or better or worse.”145 THE CONCEPTS OF NEED AND RIGHT 

Need could be understood in two ways: as a lack or deprivation, and as a potential. As a lack or deprivation, need is something to be satisfied. As a capacity, need implies a capacity for creative realization.146 Need as both potential and deprivation is not to be satisfied merely because it is such. Rather, the demand for the satisfaction of a need is premised on the idea that it is inherent in the structure of the human personality. It has to be satisfied to enable the person to perform the task of being and human becoming. A need cannot be divorced from right, that which is due to a person and which is the object of justice.147 For example, of the ten fundamental human needs identified above, the need for subsistence precedes the rest. The need to be alive, however, is not merely a deprivation or a potential to be fulfilled; it is also a moral claim to be respected.148 Put differently, a person does not only need to live; he has the right to live.

Gordon, 30. Reid, 83. 147 Dy Jr., “Social Justice, Virtue and Value in Contemporary Society” in Contemporary Social Philosophy ed. Manuel B. Dy Jr. (Quezon City: JMC Press, Inc., 1994), 5561. 148 Ibid., 58. 145 146

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Fundamental human needs, particularly subsistence, are inseparable from the person’s right to own material goods. Manuel Dy Jr. explains, “The human person is an embodied spirit. In becoming oneself, the human person has to interact with outer nature in order to survive and care for his corporeal existence. The person’s bodily existence depends on his having access to the goods of the earth, to calling materials his own. Property simply refers to man’s relationship to earthly goods in a very general way. “Because ownership is based on the very nature of man as embodied and contributes to his being a person, it is an inherent right. Everyone has the right to having a share of earthly goods sufficient for oneself and one’s family.”149

Sustainable development, which is the satisfaction of fundamental human needs over time, is conditioned by the people’ access to the material resources of the planet in order to sustain their being. Thus, social justice is indispensable to sustainable development. SOCIAL JUSTICE 

A theory of justice, says John Rawls, depends upon a theory of society.150 To understand the nature of justice one has to have a kind of an understanding

149 Dy. Jr., “Ownership and Social Relations: The Moral Foundation” in Contemporary Social Philosophy, 29-36. 150 de Villa, 182.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  of the nature of the collectivity in which he belongs and participates. Collective self-realization. As has been shown above, the person’s process of becoming takes place in a world of objects and subjects. The world of objects satisfies the fundamental need of sustaining his being. The world of subjects enhances the meaning of his being. Human existence, in this context, only becomes meaningful when a person is related with a being or someone somewhere.151 The fusion of the embodied consciousness with the object of consciousness is a loving encounter.152 Here, love is the mode by which humans live in and with their world. But living with is “to live with someone equally alive and in good health.”153 Thus, living in and with the world means sustaining and enhancing not only the quality of the lives of people but also the integrity and quality of the physical world. As Gabriel Marcel said, “I love you means you shall not die.”154

151 Dr. Claro R. Ceniza, Professor in Pre-Socratic Philosophy and Symbolic Logic at the Graduate School, Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, explains this idea well by using the term “interaction”. The nature of interaction is such that meaning or relatedness takes place when a being interacts with something or someone else. For example, the sense of sight is meaningless, and therefore useless, when there is nothing to see. 152 Corazon J. Logarta, retired Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Divine Word College of Tagbilaran, Bohol, Philippines, in her lectures in Philosophy of Man emphasizes that love begins the moment a person perceives the goodness, beauty, and truth of being. Dr. Florentino H. Hornedo, Professorial Lecturer in Philosophy of Man at the UST Graduate School, stresses that love is the mode of being. See also Mieczyslaw Albert Krapiec, Metaphysics An Outline of the History Being (New York, San Francisco, Bern, Frankfurt am Main, Paris and London: Peter Lang, 1991), 184. 153 Hornedo, “The Traditional Filipino Notion of Nature” in Nature, Science and Values Readings, 129-159. 154 Dy Jr., “A Phenomenology of Love” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, 211-220.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  The task of human becoming, viewed as an individual and collective project, demands the institutionalization of structures in society, the ultimate meaning of which “is the service they render to persons.”155 Although the structuralization of society often leads to inequalities, particularly in the distribution of goods and resources, such inequality “must be to everyone’s advantage.”156 Thus, if inequality is inevitable, it must be benign.157 Nature of justice. It is not proper to identify justice with law, demands, and equity.158 Laws are not always just while demands, no matter how reasonable, can “arise from a host of assorted interests and from needs that are more or less acute.”159 In some instances, it is hard to know “whether a distinctly just demand and an apparent justice might not eventually lead to real injustice.”160 Equity is an ambiguous term and is susceptible to different interpretations.161 Thus, the notions of justice and equity “have to be kept separate.”162 Although equity may result in distributive justice, for instance through the equitable distribution of resources, “distributive justice is not all of justice.”163 155 Paul Ricoeur, quoted in Dy Jr., “Social Justice, Virtue and Value in Contemporary Society” in Contemporary Social Philosophy, 55-61. 156 John Rawls, quoted in de Villa, 181. 157 John R. Logan and Harvey L. Molotch, Urban Fortunes The Political Economy of Space (Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1987), 6. 158 Dy Jr., “Philosophy and the Just Man” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, 23-27. 159 Gabriel Marcel, “In Search of Truth and Justice” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, 221-232. 160 Ibid., 225. 161 Dy Jr., “Social Justice, Virtue and Value in Contemporary Society” in Contemporary Social Philosophy, 55-61. 162 Marcel, loc. cit. 163 Dy Jr., “Philosophy and the Just Man” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings,

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Justice “is rooted in the dignity of man, the inviolability or sacredness of his person.”164 To paraphrase Marcel, the sacred element in the person’s nature is the spirit of justice. The moment life is degraded, the value of justice is eroded.165 Social justice, which is the “overriding value of the social order,” governs the interaction between and among human beings.166 It is animated by the sacredness of the human person, guided by love, and complemented by the value of truth.167 The value of love promotes the sacred character of persons. This means, in concrete terms, the establishment of, or effecting changes in, social institutions to enhance the well-being of people.168 Finally, social justice implies a fidelity to truth because no social order can last if it is built on deception and lies. The relationship of justice and truth is a “‘creative testimony’ that amounts to the fundamental vocation of man.”169 As a vocation, human historicality becomes the “very process in which we are personally called upon to give our testimony.”170

25. Ibid., 25. Marcel, op. cit., 227. 166 Dy Jr., “Social Justice, Virtue and Value in Contemporary Society” in Contemporary Social Philosophy, 59. 167 Ibid., 60. 168 Ibid. 169 Gabriel Marcel, “In Search of Truth and Justice” in Philosophy of Man Selected Readings, 229. 170 Ibid. 164 165

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  In the light of the foregoing discussion, the popular description of sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their needs is deficient based on at least four points: • One, the promotion of human rights rather than human needs should be the ultimate goal of sustainable development; • Two, social justice rather than intra- and intergenerational equity should be the norm in the promotion of the rights of people; • Three, the idea of social justice does not exclude the concept of enhancing the quality and integrity of the physical world, which is the location in space and time where humans sustain and nurture their being, and • Four, social justice as the promotion of humans rights implies a commitment to help those who are disadvantaged in society or those who are not in the position to protect and promote their rights.

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Summary and Recommendations

Summary Ancient intellectuality revered the cosmos and treated nature with respect and admiration. The study of the secrets of nature was a process of discerning God’s will interwoven into the fabric and web of life. In this activity of discovery, reason served as the primary tool. It is the same reason which God implanted into the structure of the human personality in order to guide human behavior. In contrast to ancient intellectuality, modern philosophy and science discovered a self-sustaining cosmos, which is independent from God. Modern intellectuality, therefore, separated value from facts and perceived the world as a geometry of figures which is an object of intellectual conquest. The result was the commodification of nature and the

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  subsequent reduction in the quantity and quality of the natural capital. Postmodernism began after the Second World War and focused its interest on man and his human condition. Man became the measure of all things, thus, no one is above anyone, nobody has power over anybody, and power is diffused across the length and breadth of the planet. The temper of the postmodern era facilitated the rise and popularity of the environmental movement and made contemporary philosophy to focus on the nature of the human person and his relationship with the world of facts and the world of values. The concept of sustainable development emerged from such a large canvass of historical knowledge. It is a response to the challenge of providing a sense to human existence amidst the global environmental crisis, the rise of the culture of consumerism and materialism, and the assertion of political independence, on the one hand, and the formation of economic alliances, on the other. Sustainable development, as the WCED defines it, is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Such a description of sustainable development is, however, vague and deficient. Its commitment to economic growth and environmental protection appears contradictory, and its focus on basic needs and equity are philosophically objectionable. Thus, the need for a philosophical dialogue on the meaning and implications of the concept. Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  From the ecological perspective, sustainable development operates within the framework of the fundamental ecological processes or what philosophers of nature call natural law. The ecological laws include the following: conservation or the wise use of natural capital; recycling or reuse, which means the use of natural resources more than once in order to reduce the generation of wastes; restoration, which means that humans help nature in restoring its balance; carrying capacity or respect of the limits and tolerance of nature; adaptability, which means that society should behave in such a way that the degraded environment is not further degraded, and renewable resources use or the dependence on renewable resources rather than on nonrenewable ones and ensuring that the rate of harvest of nonrenewable resources does not fall below their capacity to regenerate. Metaphysically, sustainable development is seen as a process of promoting the unity, pluralism, truth, goodness and beauty of the world. It is not enough that the metaphysical attributes of the world are known; they have to be enhanced and respected. In addition, the idea that the world is a physical reality is not divorced from the notion that the world is also an idea. Human beings treat the world the way they perceive the world. Thus, the meaningful operationalization of the sustainable development is contingent with the quality of knowledge and understanding that people have about the reality of their selves and the world where they live. From the economic standpoint, sustainable development places the economic system within the Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  boundaries of the ecological system. This implies a redirection of the present global economy towards a steady-state economy and the reorientation of existing patterns of production and consumption towards a more sustainable one. In particular, this means closing the flow of wastes, containing the negative environmental impacts of human activities within the ecological critical load, reducing pollution using the best available knowledge and technology, producing products that are not harmful to human health and the environment, internalizing the cost of pollution and its effects, and extending the responsibility of producers to the environmental effects of products. From the perspective of political philosophy, sustainable development is to a large extent a political process. The State, therefore, has the primary responsibility of making sustainable development work. But the success of the State in institutionalizing sustainable development depends on the civil spirit of the citizens. Thus, people’s participation is integral to sustainable development. In particular, people’s participation requires the conscientization of citizens, formation of communitybased organizations or interest groups, democratization of the decision-making processes of these organizations, and place-based and bottom-up approaches to development. The people, therefore, have to take a leading role in the development process and not act as mere objects of development. The moral philosophy of sustainable development views sustainable development as a holistic ethic that asserts the supremacy of the value Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  of the ecological system over the economic system. As a sub-set of the ecological system, economic systems have to operate within the limits of the ecological space. Moral philosophy is not comfortable with the terms “basic needs” and “equity”. Rather, it promotes fundamental human needs and grounds them with human rights, which are the objects of justice. Thus, the existing notion of sustainable development as meeting basic human needs equitably is set aside. The key ideas and insights based on the preceding discussion are presented below. ON THE RISE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

Human beings, both individually and collectively, are always involved in a continuing process of progression or the search for human development. The level of progress is commensurate to the level of their knowledge and understanding of the world.

The world in ancient intellectuality was a cosmos, an orderly world whose order is penetrable by human reason.

Ancient intellectuality produced knowledge of the world which made human beings view the world as the handiwork of God. Thus, human activities that destroy the order of nature contravene the will of God.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  •

Ancient science taught men to live with nature and to treat nature with great respect and reverence.

In contrast to ancient philosophy and science, modern intellectuality view the cosmos as a selfsustaining machine which is composed of impersonal objects whose value lies in their utility as satisfier of human needs and wants.

Modern science perceived nature as unlimited in quantity whose resources can be packaged as commodities for sale in the market place.

Modern science saw nature as an object of conquest and that the level of conquest is directly proportional to the progress in science.

Modern science led to the specialization of knowledge and the rise of disciplines whose foci are the specific aspects of the world. Knowledge therefore consists in splitting complex phenomena into simple parts.

Postmodernism, as a reaction and continuation of modern intellectuality, produced the trend towards self-rule and the formation of economic alliances, contextualism and the rise of holism, the awareness that the formula for development of high-income countries may not be suitable for low-income countries, the idea of equality within and between generations of people, and the popularity of the environmental movement.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  •

The attitude of contemporary intellectuality is towards the integration of disciplines and the fusion of fact and value.

Contemporary intellectuality recognizes the finitude of nature and that the quantity and quality of the environment can be impaired or improved through human action.

The destruction of the environment is equivalent to the destruction of human life. Thus, human development implies, first and foremost, the development of the world on which humans temporalize and realize their beings.

The human search for development, which is prevalent in the western intellectual tradition, is connected with the notion of a perfect social order. Indeed, sustainable development is a new vision of the New Garden of Eden. On the Meaning of Sustainable Development

Fundamental human needs are basically the same for all people. Thus, sustainable development is concerned with meeting these needs of all peoples, both in the present and future generations, especially the needs of the less privileged in society.

Sustainable development only becomes meaningful when it fulfills the requirements of love and justice rather than equity.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  •

The time dimension of sustainable development should be measured in terms of a couple of thousands of years.

The fulfillment of fundamental human needs based on the requirements of love and justice calls for a sustainable use and management of natural capital.

The natural capital should not be consumed below its carrying capacity. It is important that the quantity and quality of natural capital are neither impaired nor degraded but rather enhanced.

Sustainable development operates on three layers of historical time: the short-time span by setting up mechanisms to fulfill the fundamental human needs of the present generation; the intermediate range of change by integrating environmental dimensions in decision-making, polishing of existing economic and political policies related to environment and development, and establishment of social structures and institutions that are conducive for the operationalization of sustainable development, and the long span duration by ensuring that people in the future can fulfill their fundamental human needs and by sustainably using and managing the natural capital. ON THE ECOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  •

The precondition for sustainable development is the maintenance or enhancement of the quantity and quality of the natural environment.

Sustainable development implies the efficient use of natural capital.

The prudent use of natural resources hinges on the ability of society to reuse and recycle resources.

The restoration of the integrity of the natural environment is expensive and difficult. Thus, society should, as much as possible, avoid the destruction or degradation of the environment.

The carrying capacity of human society should stay within the boundary of the carrying capacity of the environment. Thus, society should reduce or avoid the production of wastes that cannot be assimilated by the natural cycle.

The use of renewable resources should not fall below the capacity of these resources to regenerate.

The use of nonrenewable resources should be kept to the minimum and society should seek ways to find substitutes for nonrenewable resources.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  On the Metaphysical Foundations of Sustainable Development •

The world is a unity which is composed of parts that are harmoniously functioning.

The world is a pluralism of beings whose diversity is integral to the maintenance of the natural equilibrium.

Sustainable development can operate properly only when it is based on the best available knowledge on the nature of human beings, the environment, and the relationships that exist between and among them.

The world is a gift from a higher form of being and as such human beings have the responsibility of sharing this gift to each other without prejudice to the lower forms of being.

Human beings have the responsibility of preserving or enhancing the beauty of the environment.

Sustainable development implies the enhancement of the well-being of all peoples always by providing a world fit for human habitation.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  On the Economic Dimension of Sustainable Development • •

The economic system being a sub-set of the ecological system should operate within the boundaries of the ecological system. The environmental crisis or the reduction in the abundance and integrity of the natural environment is not only a direct result of economic activities but also an economic crisis itself.

Human society should move towards a steadystate economy to ensure a just distribution of goods and resources as well as to institutionalize a pattern for sustainable production and consumption.

Sustainable production and consumption involves changes in the market forces to make the market environmentally responsive, promotes the wise use of the natural capital, ensures the production of goods and services that meet fundamental human needs, reduces the generation of wastes and pollutants, promotes the internalization of the cost of pollution, provides a venue for continuous improvement and innovation, and supports reasonable trade flow and encourages the sharing of the best available technology and systems.

Economic growth can be made sustainable by closing the flow of wastes, reducing the use of

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  natural resources, ensuring that natural capital meets fundamental human needs, averting the encroachment of the critical loads of the environment, preventing any damage to the natural environment by using the best available knowledge and technology, replacing products that pose danger to human health and the environment, and by making the producers responsible for the cost of the environmental effects of products as well as of pollution and its effects, ON THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 

The State is the venue for the individual and collective realization of the fullness of human beings.

Sustainable development is a political process, which means that its implementation is contingent with the quality of the political institutions.

The successful implementation of sustainable development hinges on the institutionalization of place-based and bottom-up approaches to development rather than on top-down approaches which have failed to work well for the benefit of the majority of the people.

People-centered development demands that people take a leading role in development rather than serve as mere objects of development.

To make people take the lead role in development, they have to be conscientisized to

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  enable them to understand that the quality of the service that the State renders to its citizens is directly proportional to the quality of the citizens’ civil spirit. On the Moral Philosophy of Sustainable Development •

Sustainable development is a holistic ethic that harmonizes and integrates the activities of economic, socio-political and ecological systems.

Sustainable development is not only concerned with the well-being of people but also of the world where humans live.

Fundamental human needs are based on human rights. Thus, they are not only to be respected but also to be fulfilled.

Social justice, which is the norm of sustainable development rather than equity, implies that in cases of unavoidable inequality in the distribution of goods and resources, such inequality must be to everyone’s advantage.

Sustainable development is the fulfillment of the rights of all peoples at all times. Thus, the operationalization of sustainable development should not be measured in terms of years but as long any human being inhabits the world. RECOMMENDATIONS

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Considering the widespread diffusion of the existing description of sustainable development, this paper recommends the following: • The existing frameworks for the operationalization of sustainable development should be carefully studied and re-examined in terms of their conceptual viability before they are fully implemented; • There is a need for a conceptual, moral or philosophical critique of current tools for environmental management such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Urban Environmental Management, Community-Based Resource Management (CBRM), Solid Waste Management (SWM), Land-Use Planning, and others; • There is a need for a critique of recent developments in the environment field like Eco-tourism, Eco-consumerism, ISO 14000, and others; • There is also a need for a critique of current environmental laws like the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) System, Philippine Environmental Code and others; • More studies should be made on the effects of trade agreements to global environmental management; • More studies should be made on the implications of trade liberalization to sustainable development; • More studies should be made on both the eastern and western philosophies of nature;

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  •

• • • •

Schools should infuse in the curriculum updated, relevant and philosophically sound courses on environmental philosophy and environmental ethics; More studies should be made on the traditional understanding or notions of human-nature relationship; More studies should be made on the traditional practices of environmental management; More studies should be made on how to integrate environmental consideration into economic and political decisions, and Environmental studies should be encouraged, supported, and published in such a way that the circulation of these studies can reach a wider audience.

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References Books Andelson, Robert V. Commons Without Tragedy: Protecting the Environment from Overpopulation--A New Approach. London: Shepherd Walwyn and Savage, and Maryland: Burnes and Noble, 1991. Angell, D.J.R., Comer, J.D., and Wilkinson, M.L.N., eds. Sustaining Earth: Response to the Environmental Threat. Hampshire and London: Macmillan Academic and Professional Ltd., 1990. _______________. Minimum Quality Criteria for Ecologically Sensitive Areas: ADB Environment Paper No. 4. Philippines: ADB, 1989. Armenante, Piero M. Contingency Planning for Industrial Emergencies. New York: Van Nosttrand Rein Vold, 1991. Asian Productivity Organization (APO). Environment and Forestry Management. Tokyo: APO, 1993. Bailey, George. The Making of Andrei Sakharov. England: The Penguin Press, 1989. Barde, Jean-Philippe, and Pearce, David W. Valuing the Environment: Six Case Studies. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1991. Barrow, John D. Theories of Everything: The Quest for Ultimate Explanation. London: Vintage, 1992. Bass, Ronald E., and Herson, Albert I. Successful CEQA Compliance: A Step-by-Step Approach. 3rd ed. California: Solano Press Books, 1994. Baumol. William J. and Oates, Wallace E. The Theory of Environmental Policy. 2nd ed. Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Beller, W., d’Ayala, P. and Hein, P., eds. Sustainable Development and Environmental Management of

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Small Islands. Paris: The Parthenon Publishing Group, 1990. Bielenstein, Dieter, ed. Environmental Policies and Employment: A Never-Ending Controversy (Contributions to an International Seminar in Jakarta, October 1994. Yayasan Tenaga Kerja Indonesia and Friendrich-Ebert-Stiffung, 1995. Biswas, Asit K., Khoshoo, T.N., and Koska, Ashok. Environmental Modeling for Developing Countries. London and New York: Tycolly Publishing, 1990. Biswas, Asit K., and Geping, Qu. Environmental Impact Assessment for Developing Countries. London: Tycooly International, 1987. Bohman, James. New Philosophy of Social Science: Problems of Indeterminacy. United Kingdom: Polity Press, 1991. Boland, R.G.A. General Environmental Management. Geneva: International Labour Office, 1986. Boormann, F. Herbert and Keller, Stephen B., eds. Ecology, Economics, Ethics: The Broken Cycle. New haven and London: Yale University Press, 1991. Boyle, Stewart, and Ardill, John. The Greenhouse Effect: A Practical Guide to Our Changing Climate. Hodder and Stoughton: New English Library, 1989. British Medical Association. Hazardous Waste and Human Health. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1991. Brown, Jennifer, ed. Environmental Threats: Perception, Analysis and Management. Great Britain: Belhaven Press, 1989. Brown, Lester R., Flavin, Christopher, and Poste, Sandra. Saving the Planet: How to Shape an Environmentally Sustainable Global Economy. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Brown, Lester. State of the World 1990: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society. New York and London, W.W. Norton and Co., 1990.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Carley, Michael and Christie, Ian. Managing Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Castillo, Norberto, ed. Nature, Science and Values Readings. Manila: Santo Tomas University Press, 1988. Ceniza, Claro R. Metaphysics A Study of the Structure of Metaphysical Inquiry. Manila: Research Center, De La Salle University, 1984. Chiras, Daniel D. Environmental Science: Action for a Sustainable Future (4th Edition). California: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Inc., 1994. Clark, Michael, Smith, Dennis, and Blowers, Andrew. Waste Location: Spatial Aspects of Waste Management, Hazards, and Disposal. London and New York: Routledge, 1992. Conway, Gordon R., and Pretty, Jules N. Unwelcome Harvest: Agricultural and Pollution. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1991. Cooper, David. E., and Palmer, Joy A. The Environment in Question: Ethics and Global Issues. London and New York: Routledge, 1992. Crombie, A. C. Scientific Change Historical Studies in the Intellectual, Social, and Technical Conditions for Scientific Discovery and Technical Invention, from Antiquity to the Present. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963. Cronon, William. ed., Uncommon Ground. Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996. de Villa, Agerico M. Social-Political Philosophy. Quezon City: Katha Publishing Co., Inc., 1992. Dixon, John A. et. al. Economic Analysis of Environmental Impacts. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1986. Dudley, Nigel. Good Health on a Polluted Planet: A Handbook of Environmental Hazards and How to Avoid Them. London: Thorsons, 1991.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Durant, Will. The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the Great Philosophers. New York: Washington Square Press, 1970. Dy, Manuel B. Jr. Contemporary Social Philosophy. Quezon City: JMC Press, Inc., 1994. _______________ ed. Philosophy of Man Selected Readings. Manila: Goodwill Trading Co., Inc., 1986. Edmunds, Richard and Hughes, Nigel. The Trees of Paradise. USA: Green Press, 1991. Ehrlich, Paul R., and Ehlrich, Anne H. Population, Resources, Environment: Issues in Human Ecology. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1970. Ehlrich, Paul R. The Population Explosion. London: Arrow Books Ltd., 1990. Elkington, John and Burke, Tom. The Green Capitalists: How to Make Money-and Protect the Environment. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1989. Engel, J. Ronald and Engel, J. Gibb, eds. Ethics of Environment and Development: Global Challenge and International Response. London: Belhaven Press, 1990. Environmental Policies for Cities in the 1990s. France: Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, 1990. Fahey, Liam and Narayanan, V. K. Macroenvironmental Analysis for Strategic Management. St. Paul, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco: West Publishing Co., 1986. Falkman, Edwin. Sustainable Production and Consumption: A Business Perspective. Word Business Council for Sustainable Development, n.d. Feliciano, Myrna S. et. al. Environmental Law in the Philippines. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Law Canter, 1992. Fisher, Anthony C. Resource and Environmental Economics. Cambridge, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne, and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1981.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Folmer, H., and Ierland, E. van. Valuation Methods and Policy Making in Environmental Economics: Selected and integrated papers from the congree “ Environmental Policy in a Market Economy,” Wageningen, the Netherlands, 8-11 September 1987. Amsterdam, Oxford, New York and Tokyo: Elsevier, 1989. Fortlage, C. A. Environmental Assessment: A Practical Guide. England and USA: Gower Publishing Co., 1990. Foster, Harold D. Health, Disease, and the Environment. London: Belhaven Press and Boca Raton, Ann Arbor and Tokyo: CRC Press, 1992. Frome, Michael. Issues in Wilderness Management. Boulder and London: Westview Press, 1985. Gardiner, Patrick. Theories of History. Glencoe, Illinois: The Free Press, 1959. Ginzburg, Lev R. Assessing Ecological Risks of Biotechnology. Boston, London, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto and Wellington: Butterworth Heinemann, 1991. Glasson, John, Therivel, Riki, and Chadevick, Andrew. Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment: Principles and procedures, process, practice and prospects. London: UCL Press, 1994. Gordon, Scott. The History and Philosophy of Social Science. London and New York: Routledge, 1991. Gore, Al. Earth in the Balance: ecology and the Human Spirit. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992. Goudie, Andrew. The Human Impact on the Natural Environment. 3rd ed. United Kingdom: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1990. Hall, June D. and Hanson, Arthur J. A New Kind of Sharing: Why We Can’t Ignore Global Environmental Change. Ottawa, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Montevideo, Nairobi, New Delhi,

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  and Singapore: International Development Research Centre, 1992. Hanley, Nick and Splash, Clive L. Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Environment. England: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 1993. Hardoy, Jorge E., Mitlin, Diana, and Satterthwaite, David. Environmental Problems in Third World Cities. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1992. Hemming, Daniel H. and Mangun, William R. Managing the Environmental Crisis: Incorporating Competing Values in Natural Resource Administration. Durhane and London: Duke University Press, 1989. Hills, Peter and Ramani, K.V. Energy Systems and the Environment: Approached to Impact Assessment in Asian Developing Countries. Malaysia, Asian and Pacific Development Centre, 1990. Hoffman, W. Michael, Frederick, Robert, and Petry, Edward S. Jr., eds. Business, Ethics, and the Environment: The Public Policy Debate. New York, Wesport, Connecticut, and London: Qurorum Books, 1990. Hooke, J.M., ed. Geomorphology in Environmental Planning. Chichester, New York, Brisbane, Toronto and Singapore: John Wiley and Sons, 1988. Hopson, Janet L. and Potlethwait, John H. The Nature of Life. United States of America: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1989. Howard, Peter John Arthur. An Introduction to Environmental Pattern Analysis. United Kingdom and United States of America: The Parthenon Publishing Group, 1991. Hunnex, Milton D. Chronological and Thematic Charts of Philosophies and Philosophers. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986. Hutschmidt, Marnard M., and Hyman, Eric L., eds. Economic Approaches to Natural Resource and Environmental Quality Analysis: Proceedings and papers of a conference on Extended Benefit-Cost

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Analysis, Environment and Policy Institute, East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, 19-26 September 1979. Dublin: Tycoody International Publishing Ltd., 1982. Jacobs, Michael. The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development, and the Politics of the Future. London: Pluto Press, 1991. Jacques, J. Keith, Lesourd, Jean-Baptiste, and Ruiz, JeanMichael, eds. Modern Applied Energy Conservation: New Directions in Energy Conservation Management. England: Ellis Harwood Ltd., 1988. Jenkins, Robin R. The Economics of Solid Waste Reduction: The Impact of User Fees. England: Edward Elgar Publishing Co., 1993. Johnson, Martha, ed. LORE: Capturing Traditional Environmental Knowledge. Canada: Deue Cultural Institute and International Development Research Center, 1992. Johnson, Rebecca L. and Johnson, Garry V., eds. Economic Valuation of Natural Resources: Issues, Theory and Applications. Boulder, San Francisco, and Oxford: Westview Press, 1990. Johnston, Geroge M., Freshwater, David, and Favero, Philip, eds. Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Analysis: Cases in Applied Economics. Boulder and London: Westview Press, 1988. Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution (GESAMP). The State of the Marine Environment. Oxford, London, Edinburgh, Boston, Melbourne, Paris, Berlin and Vienna: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1990. Kakonen, Jyrki, ed. Perspectives on Environmental Conflict and International Relations. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Kato, Ichiro, et. al., eds. Environmental Protection and Coastal Zone Management in Asia and the Pacific. Japan: University of Tokyo Press, 1985. Kirk, G. S., Raven, J. E. and Chofield, M. The Presocratic Philosophers A Critical History with a Selection of

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Texts. Cambridge, London, New York, New Rochelle, Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, c. 1983. Klemm, David E. Hermeneutical Inquiry Volume 1 The Interpretation of Texts. Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1986. Korton, Robert. Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda. West Hatford, CT.: Kumarian Press, 1990. Krapiec, Mieczyslaw Albert. Metaphysics An Outline of the History Being. New York, San Francisco, Bern, Frankfurt am Main, Paris and London: Peter Lang, 1991. Kula, Erhun. Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment. London, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne and Texas: Chapman and Hall, 1992. Kumar, Ranjit and Murck, Barbara. On Common Grounds: Managing Human-Planet relationships. Toronto: John Wiley and Sons, 1992. Kurzman, Dan. A Killing Wind: Inside Union Carbide and the Bhoipal Catastrophe. New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Toronto, Hamburg, and Mexico: MacGraw-Hill Book Co., 1987. Learner, Steve. Earth Summit: Conversations with Architects of an Ecologically Sustainable Future. Philippines, Bookmark, 1991. Local Government Academy (LGA) - Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Innovations: The MBN Approach to Local Development. Philippines: LGA-DILG, 1996. Logan, John R. and Molotch, Harvey L. Urban Fortunes. The Political Economy of Space. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1987. McCormick, John. Acid Earth: The Global Threat of Acid Pollution. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1989.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Mckee, David L., ed. Energy, the Environment, and Public Policy: Issues for the 1990s. New York, Westport, Connecticut, and London: Praeger, 1991. Macneill, Jim, Winsemius, Dieter and Yakushiji, Taizo. Beyond Independence: The Meaning of the World’s Economy and the Earth’s Ecology. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. MacNeil, William H. History of Western Civilization: A Handbook (6th Edition). Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 1986. London: Matthews, Freya. The Ecological Self. Routledge, 1991. Meadows, Donella H., Meadows, Dennis L., and Randers, Jorgen. Beyond the Limits: Global Collapse or a Sustainable Future. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1992. Miller, E. Weilhard, and Miller, M. Ruby. Contemporary World Issues, Environmental Hazards: Air Pollution. California and England: ABC-CLIO, 1989. Montgomery, Carla W. Environmental Geology. 2nd ed. Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 1989. Morris, Peter and Therivel, Riki, eds. Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment. London: UCL Press, 1995. Myers, Norman. The Primary Source: Tropical Forests and Our Future. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Co., 1984. Nakano, Yoshiko Y. Mother Earth: An NGO Proposal for Actions to Give a “Green Earth” to Our Children Tomorrow. Tokyo: OISCA-International, 1989. Naisbitt, John. Global Paradox: The Bigger the World Economy, The More Powerful Its Smallest Players. New York: William Morrow and Co., Inc., c. 1994. Norato, Eduardo A. Jr. Strategic Intervention for Development Managers (Texts and Cases). Philippines: Asian Institute of Management, 1993.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Odum, Eugene P. Ecology and Our Endangered LifeSupport System. Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers, 1989. Parnwell, Michael J.G. and Bryant, Raymond L. eds., Environmental Change in South-East Asia. People Politics and Sustainable Development. London and New York, Routledge, 1996. Patterson, Walter C. The Energy Alternative: Changing the Way of the Worlds. London: Boxtree Limited, 1990. Poffenberger, Mark, ed. Keepers of the Forest: Land Management Alternatives in Southeast Asia. Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1990. Porter, Gareth and Brown, Janet Welsh. Global Environmental Politics. Boulder, San Francisco and Oxford: Westview Press, 1991. Ramani, K.V., Hills, Peter, and George, Grace. Burning Questions: Environmental Limits to Energy Growth in Asian-Pacific Countries during the 1990s. Malaysia: Asian and Pacific Development Centre, 1992. Rambo, A. Terry, and Sajise, Percy E., eds. An Introduction to Human Ecology Research on Agricultural Systems in Southeast Asia. Los Banos: University of the Philippines at Los Banos University Publications Program, 1984. Rappaport, Ann and Faherty, Margaret Fresher. Corporate Responses to Environmental Challenges. New York, Westport, Connecticut and London: Qurorum Books, 1992. Ravera, Oscar. Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo and Singapore: Ellis Harwood, 1991. Reid, David. Sustainable Development An Introductory Guide. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1995. Repetto, Robert. World Enough and Time. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986. Shraeder-Frechette, K. S. Science Policy, Ethics and Economic Methodology: Some Problems of Technology Assessment and Environment-Impact

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Analysis. Dordrecht, Boston and Lancaster: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1985. Slater, Frances. Societies, Choices, and Environments: Issues and Enquiries. London: Collins educational, 1991. Schmiheiny, Stephan with the Business Council for Sustainable Development. Changing Course. London: The MIT Press, 1992. Shraeder-Frechette, K. S. Science Policy, Ethics and Economic Methodology: Some Problems of Technology Assessment and Environment-Impact Analysis. (Dordrecht, Boston and Lancaster: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1985. Soriano, Luz Emmanuel, Claudio, Corazon PB., and Fansler, Lolita Delgado. Sustainable Development: A Philippine Perspective. Philippines: Phoenix Publishing House, 1995. Southeirner, Sally, ed. Women and the Environment: A Reader Crisis and Development in the Third World. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1991. Swift-Hook, D.T., ed. Wind Energy and the Environment. London: Peter Peregrinus Ltd, 1989. Tasman Economic Research Pty. Ltd. Philippines: Water Supply Sector Reform Study. 1993. Turner, Kerry R., ed. Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1988. Vesiroghu, Tenejat. Environmental Problems and Solutions: Greenhouse Effect, Acid Rain, Pollution. New York, Washington, Philadelphia and London: Hemisphere Publishing Corp., 1990. Villegas, Bernardo M. The Philippine Vision of Sustainable Development. Philippines: Southeast Asia Science Foundation, 1993. Walsh, Mike. Disasters: Current Planning and Recent Experience. London, Melbourne and Auckland: Edward Arnold, 1989.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Welford, Richford and Gouldson, Andrew. Environmental Management and Business Strategy. London: Pitman Publishing, 1993. World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). Our Common Future. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. World Resources Institute. The 1993 Information Please Environmental Almanac. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993. Periodicals Hornedo, Florentino H. “Notes on Postmodern Literary Theory and Criticism.” Unitas (September, 1995) : 53-76. University of Santo Tomas. UST Journal of Graduate Research 24, no. 2 (October 1996) Public Documents Asian Development Bank (ADB). Environmental Planning and Management: Regional Symposium on Environmental and Natural Resources Planning. Manila, 19-21 February 1986. Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy. Denmark’s Nature and Environmental Policy 1995 Summary Report. Environmental Management Programme Office (EMPO)Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). Sourcebook on Community Resource Management. 1996. (Unpublished) _______________. Foundation Course on Environmental Management: Participants Kit. August 25 to 30, 1996. (Unpublished) _______________. Proceedings of the Workshop on Developing an Environmental Management

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Framework and an Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation System for the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor. Pasig City: EMPO-DAP, 1995. (Unpublished) _______________. Environmental and Pollution Management Program for the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor Reference Materials. Pasig City: EMPODAP, 1995. (Unpublished) IUCN. The World Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 1980. Swedish Environmental Advisory Council. Trade and the Environment. Towards a Sustainable Playing Field. A Report from the Swedish Environmental Advisory Council SOU 1994:76. Stockholm: 1994. _______________. On the General Principles of Environmental Protection: Swedish Government Official Reports 1994:69. Stockholm, 1994. United Nations (UN). Global Outlook 2000 An Economic, Social and Environmental Perspective. United States of America: UN Publications, 1990. Papers Alexander, W. “A Sustainable Human Ecology.” Paper delivered to the Conference on Human Responsibility and Global Change, Gootebrog, 1991. Carley, Michael. “Sustainable Development in the 21st Century City-Region: Organizing to Meet the Challenge.” Paper delivered at the Lecture-Forum on Urban Environmental Management for Sustainable Development, Development Academy of the Philippines, Pasig City, Philippines, 7 March 1996. Delfin Ganapin Jr. “Principles of Sustainable Development.” Paper delivered at the Workshop on Developing an Environmental Management Framework and an Environmental Monitoring and

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  Evaluation System for the Cagayan de Oro - Iligan Corridor, Midway White Beach Resort, Initao, Misamis Oriental, Philippines, 30 August to 1 September, 1995. Computer Material 1995 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc., 1995.

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  About the Author Alan S. Cajes is Fellow of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) where he serves as Vice President and Managing Director of the Center for Sustainable Human Development, Faculty Member and Action Plan and Project (Thesis) Adviser of the Master in Public Management Program, and in-house Resource Person on quality assessment, anticorruption and integrity development, project management, strategic and results-based planning, green productivity, renewable energy, waste management, and disaster risk reduction-climate change adaptation. He finished a Bachelor of Arts major in Philosophy, with cum laude, at Holy Name University (formerly Divine Word College) in Tagbilaran City and a Master of Arts major in Philosophy, with magna cum laude, at the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, Manila. He has conducted or led more than 30 action-research projects and has lectured to various audiences in the country on topics related to environmental management and sustainable development. He is now working on an online depository of reference materials on Philippine history and studies.

ISBN 978-971-94507-1-9 Alan S. Cajes 

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Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  

An interpretation of sustainable development via a philosophical reading of texts from the humanities and the natural and social sciences.

Philosophy of Sustainable Development: A Critique  

An interpretation of sustainable development via a philosophical reading of texts from the humanities and the natural and social sciences.