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Environmental Values

Virtual Consumption, Sustainability and Human Well-Being

Kenneth R. Pike, C. Tyler DesRoches

Environmental Values 29 (2020): 361-378. doi: 10.3197/096327119X15678473650938

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ABSTRACT

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.


KEYWORDS

Virtual consumption, sustainability, well-being, experience machine, Nozick

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