Conceptualizing Personhood for Sustainability: a Buddhist Virtue Ethics Perspective

Becker, C.U.; Hamblin, J. Conceptualizing Personhood for Sustainability: A Buddhist Virtue Ethics Perspective. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9166. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169166

13 Pages Posted: 7 May 2020 Last revised: 17 Aug 2021

See all articles by Christian U Becker

Christian U Becker

Colorado State University

Jack Hamblin

University of Denver

Date Written: August 16, 2021

Abstract

This conceptual paper addresses the role the individual plays in sustainability against the backdrop of the ethical dimensions of sustainability. We discuss the relevance of moral personhood as a basis for sustainability and develop a model of personhood for sustainability. The paper outlines the ethical dimensions of sustainability and discusses the role of individual morality for sustainability from a virtue ethics perspective. We employ a Buddhist virtue ethical approach for conceptualizing a model of the sustainable person that is characterized by sustainability virtues, interdependent personhood, and an inherent concern for the wellbeing of others, nature, and future beings. In contrast to many Western-based conceptions of the individual actor, our model of sustainable personhood conceptualizes and explains a coherent and inherent individual motivation for sustainability. The paper contributes to the methodological question of how to best consider the individual in sustainability research and sustainability approaches and suggests a conceptual basis for integrating individual, institutional, and systemic aspects of sustainability.

Keywords: Buddhism, individual actor, methodology, moral personhood, sustainability ethics, sustainability research, virtue ethics

Suggested Citation

Becker, Christian U. and Hamblin, Jack, Conceptualizing Personhood for Sustainability: a Buddhist Virtue Ethics Perspective (August 16, 2021). Becker, C.U.; Hamblin, J. Conceptualizing Personhood for Sustainability: A Buddhist Virtue Ethics Perspective. Sustainability 2021, 13, 9166. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169166, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3577354 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3577354

Christian U. Becker (Contact Author)

Colorado State University ( email )

College of Business
Fort Collins, CO 80526
United States

Jack Hamblin

University of Denver ( email )

2255 E Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80210
United States

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