jeudi 8 octobre 2020

The ontological and logical foundations of sustainability

YisookⅠ (Kim, Juyeon : 2002)
Cet article est également consultable dans Global Sustainability, vol. 2, 2019, published online by Cambridge University Press, 8 July 2019, e13.

An enquiry into the ontological and logical foundations of sustainability

Toward a conceptual integration of the interface ‘Nature/Humanity’

Augustin Berque

1. Introduction 

As Arturo Escobar recently wrote, ‘Sustainability cannot be limited to the sole environmental, economic and cultural dimensions, leaving aside epistemic and ontological aspects’ (Escobar, 2018: 82). The aim of the present article is precisely to deal with these last two aspects, understanding here ‘epistemic’ as the logical frame of our ways of thinking. True, such aspects of the question of sustainability are not the ordinary concern of its specialists, whose reflection, it goes without saying, is mainly focused on environmental problems in the broad sense. Yet, our existence on the Earth is fundamentally an ontological question, and the fact is that the epistemic frame of our present civilization – that is, what I shall call the modern-classical Western paradigm (MCWP) – has put this condition aside, abstracting the human being into a transcendental position toward nature. What the present article aims at is to refute this paradigm by showing that, on the contrary, human existence is necessarily structured as such by its relation with a certain milieu, evolutionarily and historically elaborated from the environment as its raw material.