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Ruling the future? Heretical Reflections on Technology and Other Secular Religions of Sustainability


Davison, AG, Ruling the future? Heretical Reflections on Technology and Other Secular Religions of Sustainability, Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology, 12, (2-3) pp. 146-162. ISSN 1363-5247 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1163/156853508X359958


I argue that the quest for sustainability in Western societies has been shaped by the secular religion of technology. Technological endeavor and moral reflection have been held apart in this quest, with the result that reformist and transformative approaches to sustainability often overlook articles of modern faith in technology. Instrumentalist appeals to eco-efficiency and environmentalist appeals to nature implicitly invest technology with transcendent significance. In response, I rely upon accounts of practical reason in outlining a secular strategy for constituting sustainability as practical moral endeavor. Characterizing this endeavor as faithfulness in the task of sustaining a good world, I suggest that skillful handling of the moral and ontological substance of technology is the very essence of sustainability.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Environmentalism; Ethics; Practical reason; Secular religion; Sustainability; Technology
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Environmental philosophy
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Environmental ethics
UTAS Author:Davison, AG (Associate Professor Aidan Davison)
ID Code:54446
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2009-02-22
Last Modified:2009-03-19

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