Moving Beyond Dualistic and Holistic Environmental Beliefs

The theory we discussed this week was new to me, titled counting beyond/between two. The general idea is that human interpretation of the world is often dualistic. In environmental studies, this is revealed by beliefs like ‘technology will help solve impacts of climate change” and “technology will only cause more climate change.” The solution to dualism is holism, or counting to one. It requires the integration of interpretations, but also often leaves important concepts out. Counting beyond two is based on the refusal to accept that there were ever two boxes into which reality could be parsed and all of life and perception are intertwined. Phew!

I can apply the duality and beyond two concepts to my theories. The concept of businesses with a purpose, or green capitalism, often reveals a set of two beliefs. First, that businesses can do something to benefit the world community or second, that there is nothing businesses can do, as any change that occurs within the capitalist system will fail to address the root issues.

My thesis explores the ‘beyond two’ of this concept. I accept that there are businesses doing good, in that they are trying to address their impacts. I accept this is occurring within a system which benefits those who pursue profit at the expense of everything good and right. I thus identify the need for businesses to continue to work with a purpose so as to change the system they exist in. 

There is undoubtedly tension over the reasons for adoption of standards and the effectiveness of action. Yet it is entirely possible to remain critical of efforts towards a sustainable future while supporting the movements that it will take to reshape a system wherein very powerful forces of profit and exploitation continue to support the structure.

1 thought on “Moving Beyond Dualistic and Holistic Environmental Beliefs

  1. What an interesting and new way to think about dualistic thinking! I truly am still confused by this idea a bit, but am intrigued by your use of it. I wonder if there is any counting to 1 in green capitalism bc it implies the difference btwn capitalism and environmentalism. Great post, per usual!


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