The Illusion of an Abundant End: A Phenomenological Approach to Sustainability: The Progress Trap and the Transformative Potential of Dialogue

Shantanu Rojatkar, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Abundance is a concept according to which a thing is deemed to be in plenty. The feeling of satisfaction and assurance, arising from something that is concretely abundant, serves as a material reason for motivation of a desired action. Just like the stock of food lying in our fridge, ensuring more than just the needs of the moment, the abundance cooks the taste of freedom, freedom from worrying about tomorrow. However, over consumption out of greed as a potential outcome of abundance, could result in the increased capacity of a person in order to reach the initial level of satisfaction. This results in abundance becoming merely a conceptual act of understanding, not just by coming to an end at a faster rate due to excessive intake but also because of how adverse ends are also simultaneously produced; for e.g. throwing up as a result of misunderstood capacity. It is just as hard to understand the capacity as it is to understand the abundance since both excess of capacity and excess of intake are unsustainable in their own ways. This brings attention to ‘what is sustainable’ and how to best understand satisfaction in terms of the needs of the present and the future while also acknowledging the presence of others and maintaining inclusivity. Although the solutions offered so far to such an issue tend to slip in the direction of finding a best digestion medicine or to spend billions of dollars in the attempt to colonize Mars or any other planet after the earth, in this paper I intend to discuss how such solutions fall into what I call the progress trap, understood in terms of sustainability.

Subject Area

Philosophy|Sustainability

Recommended Citation

Rojatkar, Shantanu, "The Illusion of an Abundant End: A Phenomenological Approach to Sustainability: The Progress Trap and the Transformative Potential of Dialogue" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI13896499.
https://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI13896499

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