What Is ‘Enough’?

In Peter Róna, Laszlo Zsolnai & Agnieszka Wincewicz-Price (eds.), Homo Curator: Towards the Ethics of Consumption. Springer Nature Switzerland. pp. 33-52 (2024)
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Economics was invented to deal with material scarcityScarcity, and is therefore biased towards increasing materially production. Many of the world’s current problems, however, are caused by excessive use of the resources of the natural world, often driven by an excessive desireDesire to accumulate the moneyMoney that stands proxy for them. In order to respond to these, then, we need to return the concept of ‘enoughEnough’ to the centre of moral and social, and therefore political and economic, thinking. ‘Enough’ for an individual turns out to be concretely contextual and intrinsically relational. At the same time, it has objective boundaries, set not least by ecological limits combined with justice, both local and global. Therefore we need both good judgement and healthy societies to be truly satisfied, as individuals, with enoughEnough. One of the factors that exacerbates our weakness for excessExcess is the monetarisation of goodsGoods. Economists, I suggest, might need to be attentive to the importance, the specific complexities, and the risks of quantifying ‘enoughEnough’.



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