Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Desarrollo sostenible : ¿sabemos de qué estamos hablando? Algunos criterios para un uso consistente del término sostenibilidad aplicado al desarrollo a partir de una perspectiva sistémica

Andri Werner Stahel, Jaime Cendra Garreta


Based on complexity and system’s theory, in this paper we try to establish a framework wherein, for the construction of sustainability science, we can legitimaly
talk about sustainability. Finding a common ground and shared meanings of the concept
of sustainability is, for us, fundamental once, as defined by the German linguist Uwe
Poerkse, sustainability too has been converted in what he termed a plastic word. Plastic words have a strong ideological power, but lack a clear meaning. Thus sustainability too has strong positive connotations, but lack each time more a clear denotation and is used to refer to often opposite concepts. To create a sustainability science will only be possible if we manage to give to the concept, within its various contexts and discourses a clear meaning, reducing its ideological connotations to the maximum. It is only in this way that we can reduce the noise which hampers communication, reduces understanding and thus misleads action.

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