Can we overcome the anthropocentrism bias in sustainability discourse?

  • Piet Naudé University of Stellenbosch, Business School
Keywords: Turn to the subject, sustainable development, stewardship, partisan justice, eco-feminism.


Based on a turn to the rational human subject in Descartes, Kant and Feuerbach, this paper critically examines four efforts at shaping sustainability discourse: the definition of sustainability in Our common future; stewardship Christian theology; forms of partisan justice; and GDP as measure of economic growth. These efforts made certain advances, but because they share the underlying anthropocentric bias of Western philosophy, they fail to step out of the current sustainability paradigm. The paper closes with two suggestions of how to de-centre the human subject and to build a network-view of all species.


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