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In the upcoming session of the Philosophy and Public Affairs Colloquium Ingrid Robeyns (UU) will give a short introduction followed by comments from Marc Davidson. Faculteitskamer/Faculty Room, Oude Turfmarkt 147 (entrance at 141), Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam.

Detail Summary
Date 27 March 2019
Time 16:00 - 18:00

To many people’s minds, there is an inevitable trade-off between living in a more ecologically sustainable way, and our lifestyles and well-being. If that trade-off is a real one, then those striving towards an ecologically sustainable future are facing an uphill task, since ecological sustainability will only be possible by lowering people’s well-being – something many people are unwilling to do.  But is this trade-off or dilemma real or is it spurious? Is it possible to lead good lives, that is, lives with high levels of well-being, that are simultaneously consistent with norms of ecological justice? In this paper, I will argue that it is possible to live good lives that are also just and ecologically sustainable. The route I offer to escape the tension is by making the distinction between lifestyles and the notion of ‘the standard of living’ on the one hand and ‘the quality of life’ or ‘well-being’ on the other hand. However, meeting our ecological duties will nevertheless imply that some elements of our current lifestyles will no longer be available to us, but that it does not follow that our well-being will necessarily be lower. A lifestyle is available that allows us to meet our ecological duties, and keep the same levels of well-being. I also respond to two objections, namely that this proposed solution is a violation of liberal principles, and, secondly, that poor and lower-middle class people will be unacceptably worse off.

Prof Dr Ingrid Robeyns is Chair Ethics of Institutions, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Utrecht University. She works on issues in contemporary political philosophy and applied ethics, and she is especially interested in applied and non-ideal philosophy and in interdisciplinary research, as well as in the development of normative theories and methods that are needed to support this kind of research.

Prof Dr Marc Davidson holds an endowed professorship in Philosophy of Sustainable Development from a humanistic perspective at Maastricht University, and is a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam at the crossroads of environmental ethics and economics.