A Neo-Epicurean Approach to a Sustainable Good Life in a Technological World

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter


This chapter explores how Epicurus' philosophy of pleasure provides a way of understanding the problem of sustainability in relation to the notion of a good life in a technological age, as well as offering a framework for its solution. I will with some caution explain the problem of sustainability as the problem of sustaining our current level of lifestyles, principally in terms of consumption, both as individuals and as societies worldwide, in terms of at least five variables: (1) ever-diminishing natural resources; (2) increaseof pollution to the biosphere, including an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; (3) increase of the consumption of energy per capita in the form of fossil fuels to maintain our level of lifestyles; (4) increase in world population, which impacts on variables 1, 2, 3, and 5. Climate change and global warming for which most if not all the variables of 1 to 4 appear to be, on current scientific evidence, are contributing causal factors. One of the main claims of this chapter is that any solution to sustainability must also address the crucial and related issue of what constitutes a sustainable good life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Good Life in a Technological Age
EditorsPhilip Brey Adam Briggle, Edward Spence Edward Spence
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780415891264
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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