A new philosophy, " Act local, think global "

The essential aspects of the sustainable development, on the capacities of the planet and the disparities of access to the resources ask philosophic and ethical questions.

Hans Jonas, an historian and German philosopher, advanced the idea that the economic model of the West could not be viable on the long term if it did not become more respectful of the environment. Indeed Jonas put the idea of a duty towards the future generations, potential and “vulnerable” lives which we threaten and he gives to the man a responsibility. Since, one of the subjects of the philosophy which calls most to our contemporaries is the one of the philosophy of the nature, the questions about the place of the man in the nature. So, in 1987, Michel Serres, a French philosopher describes the man as the signatory of a contract with the nature, recognizing the duties of the humanity to the nature. On the contrary, the philosopher Luc Ferry said the man cannot have a contract with the nature and considers that this vision which consists in giving the right to the nature participates on a radical opposition against the West, a revolutionary and not reformist nature, doubled by a pronounced antihumanism. (The reformism is a political doctrine to improve the existing, economic and social structures, by legal modifications).

Jean Bastaire, a Christian intellectual, sees the origin of the ecological crisis in Descartes, a famous French philosopher, according to whom the man had to “become again the boss and owner of the nature “. On the contrary, geographer Sylvie Brunel criticizes the sustainable development because she sees a conception of the man as a parasite and the nature as an ideal. For her, the man is, most of the time, the one who protects the biodiversity, the nature is the reign of the law of most hardly, so, “any natural environment delivered to itself is colonized by invasive species“. The formula " Act local, think global ", used by René Dubos, a French agronomist, biologist and ecologist, during the summit on the environment of 1972, is often used on the problems of sustainable development. It shows that the consideration of the environmental and social stakes requires new discovery, which integrate the global character of the sustainable development.

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