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Abstract: The values of modern industrial growth society are instrumental, anthropocentric and hedonistic. These contrast with the values of many others in society and their desires for a better world. For example, the environmental movement promotes non-humans, feminists call for a caring and inclusive economy and Marxists point to the social and community values of a less oppressive world. What are the values that would make for a better world and how can they be sustained? This paper gives a brief overview of some key aspects of the major value systems prevalent in Western societies. The three main meta-ethical systems are utilitarianism, rights (deontology), and virtue ethics. While this classification is Western in origin the systems they describe can be seen as operative in many countries and all major industrialising economies tend towards a utilitarian mode of ethical conduct. As part of the RAGE special session this talk will briefly (in 10 mins.) outline key aspects of these debates on values and ethics in order to inform the discussion on alternatives.

This media entry was a contribution to the special session “Exploring transformation to a radical alternative society (RAGE)” at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014.