Foundations for Sustainability - Chapter 1: To solve a difficult problem, enlarge it

Elsevier, Foundations for Sustainability, A Coherent Framework of Life-Environment Relations, 2019, Pages 1-25
Daniel A.Fiscus and Brian D.Fath

This book is science offered in service to life as a unified whole. We present theory and applications rigorously rooted in science, and we modify the foundations of science so the ground is fertile to nurture the roots of the theory and actions we see necessary to solve the human-environment crisis. The foundations we propose support a science of the life–environment relation as a whole that is anticipatory and value-based, centered on the value of life. We propose two dialectical typologies that unify prior divisions. We depict life as a dual-modeled complex system that depends on both the “discrete life” of organisms and individuals, and the “sustained life” of ecosystems and biosphere. And we unite seemingly contradictory human perspectives that arise from confronting environmental limits—the “Sustainers” who seek to change themselves to fit within perceived environmental limits and “Transcenders” who seek to change the environment and transcend perceived limits.