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Virtual Consumption, Sustainability and Human Well-Being

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There is widespread consensus that present patterns of consumption could lead to the permanent impossibility of maintaining those patterns and, perhaps, the existence of the human race. While many patterns of consumption qualify as 'sustainable' there is one in particular that deserves greater attention: virtual consumption. We argue that virtual consumption - the experience of authentic consumptive experiences replicated by alternative means - has the potential to reduce the deleterious consequences of real consumption by redirecting some consumptive behaviour from shifting material states to shifting information states.
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Keywords: Nozick; Virtual consumption; experience machine; sustainability; well-being

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2020

This article was made available online on September 7, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Virtual Consumption, Sustainability and Human Well-Being".

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 2.158. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.047.
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