The Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: Events
Thursday, 29 October 2015, 18:00
Lecture room in the Institute building
Forschungsnetzwerkt »Saisir l'Europe - Europa als Herausforderung« in Kooperation mit dem Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften der Goethe-Universität
John O'Neill (Manchester University)»Well-being, substitutability and ecosystem services«
In standard economic approaches sustainable development is understood as a requirement that well-being does not decline over time. Well-being is characterised in terms of preference satisfaction. Main-taining well-being thus characterised requires that either the total stock of capital does not decline (weak sustainability) or that a stock of critical natural capital does not decline (strong sustainability). The natural world consists in a bundle of assets that are valued in terms of the services they provide, either directly for the welfare of those who use them or indirectly as inputs into production and as the background conditions for human life and production. This paper criticizes this approach to sustainability. The preference satisfaction approach to well-being is flawed, and replacing it with a needs-based approach puts stronger limits on the substitutability of goods across different dimensions of well-being. Characterizing the value of environmental goods in terms of ecosystem services fails to capture de re valuations of goods that are constitutive of human well-being.
Professor Dr. John O’Neill is Professor für Political Economy and Philosophy at the University of Manchester. His research interests lie in political economy and philosophy, philosophy and environmental policy, political theory, ethics, and the philosophy of science. In 2008 he published the book Environmental Values, together with A. Holland and A. Light in the Routledge Introductions to Environment Series.
Please register in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 06172-139770.