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Research orientations

Environmental political philosophy | Environmental ethics | Ecological economy | Environmental anthropology
 

Environmental political philosophy

Classical political philosophy is given for object to point the principles of the best possible system. For a few decades, the idea has been essential that it was advisable to exceed the nation’s limits in order to also think the principles of total justice. However, neither the question of the right society, nor that of total justice are thinkable apart from the general constraints, in particular temporal ones, imposed by the limits of the Biosphere. The program of environmental political philosophy is reinterpreting and reconsidering the principles of living together related to these limits.

Subtopics

Ecological democracy / institutional levers / community lifestyles and initiatives / freedoms and doctrines of justice / environmental justice / climatic justice / participative and deliberative democracy / risks and precautionary principle / social and environmental challenges of the techniques / theory of the action.

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Environmental ethics

Classical ethics has the aim of thinking the relationships of the individuals between them or of the individuals to the community from the point of view of what is just and good. The contemporary environmental problems constitute a new challenge: they encourage reconsidering the moral status of Nature, traditionally considered as external to circle of morals. Environmental ethics deals with this questioning. It questions as well the representations of Nature and the various values, which are granted, as well as the behaviours to which they lead.

Under-sets of themes

Integrative ethics of nature / values of nature / long time (future generations, “cosmic” prospect) / environmental moral virtues / articulations of the environmental values to the policy / philosophy of the environmental history.

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Ecological economy

Ecological economy was constituted around the project to reconsider the relationships of production and exchange in their ecological, material and energy dimensions. At the time of its constitution at the end of the years 1980, this branch wanted to be resolutely reforming and to recreate modelling and calculation, the metrics, the apprehension of time and the relations with the information and the uncertainty of the economy. Over the years and in the name of pragmatism, the most innovative aspects were largely abandoned in favour of more conventional representations of the relations between economy and environment.

Researches undertaken in link with this set of themes are thus of two orders:

  • Study of the ecological economy and its evolutions as a field of analysis;
     
  • Attempts at application of the initial program of the ecological economy to various environmental questions.
     

Subtopics

Epistemology of the ecological economy / sustainability and criticisms of the growth / economy of the biodiversity / critical approaches of the green economy / metric and measurements of nature / economic anthropology / marketisation of nature / saving in functionality.

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Environmental anthropology

Anthropology does not have today for single object traditional societies, but plural societies within a globalized world. Here, the model of homo economicus is dominating. This last one being inseparable from a complex of institutions, of mentalities, of psychology, of values, and in the end, of blooming of the human nature, the whole associated with a form of material organization of the society.

The unbearable character of the growth of energy and matter fluxes, and the plausibility of a transition towards a post-industrial society and without growth of these fluxes, opens again the anthropological questioning which homo economicus had closed.

What is the real extent of the homo economicus model, with which models does it coexists and which models are opposed to it? What would be the human types made possible and/or compatible with its receding or even its disappearance? What would be the types of behaviours, the designs of action and the social structures then possible ?

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