(Techno-)Utopias and the Question of Natural Boundaries

Georg Jochum

Abstract


Two key issues are currently dominating the discourse on the future: On
the one hand, technological and especially digital transformation, on the
other hand the socioecological transformation towards sustainable development,
which takes into account ecological boundaries. Both topics are
becoming increasingly linked, but there is no consensus on the direction
of the upcoming socio-eco-technological transformation.
As stated in the article, the controversies and the different concepts are
influenced by the utopian traditions of modernity. In particular, the
technical utopia ‘Nova Atlantis’ by Bacon, and the paradigmatic social utopia
‘Utopia’ by More are crucial. The hegemonic technology-oriented
sustainability concepts are in the tradition of Bacon. Since they continue
modern expansionism, they are inadequate to solve the ecological crisis.
Approaches in the tradition of social utopia may be more likely to solve the
crisis, as they include more comprehensive socio-eco-technical imaginaries
of a sustainable future.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2020.13.1.1032