The Anthropological Key to Sustainable Development Essay

The Anthropological Key to Sustainable Development Essay

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I. Introduction
Development is for people, of people, and by people. Literature on development studies notes that the discussion has evolved from the economic aspect to a holistic approach on the issue. Debates on the issue seem to answer an aspect of man–the basic needs approach sees development in satisfying his material needs while the capability approach sees development in expanding man’s ability to be the steward of his own development. Both approaches in themselves are valuable, but both have to be considered with the knowledge that man is at the center of development. He is, after all, the material, formal, efficient and final cause of development. Man is the beginning, the means and the end of any developmental effort. However, which of these two aspects of development must be given priority depends on the knowledge of its advocates and supporters of who and what man is.

This essay will unfold through 1) A discussion on what the terms development and sustainable development mean and imply; 2) The underscoring of the goals of development; and 3) An explanation on why education in freedom is needed for an increased sensitivity of cultural traditions.

II. Development for what
Development is usually defined “as the significant and measurable economic growth, and the emergence of social, economic, and political institutions.” Development is clearly a process that involves change that is empirically verifiable within a given period, thus making the time element a central factor. This can be seen, for example, in assessing noticeable differences in the state of affairs from the start of an intervention to when such involvement ceases. There could also be intermediate measurements to check the effectiveness of proposed solu...


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...ent nations, of the traditions of the various peoples, by which the individual defines himself in relation to life's fundamental questions. What eclecticism and cultural levelling have in common is the separation of culture from human nature. Thus, cultures can no longer define themselves within a nature that transcends them, and man ends up being reduced to a mere cultural statistic. When this happens, humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation.

As the quote suggests, self knowledge is what will ensure that one is not arbitrarily sucked in the developmental scheme that could lead to loss of identity. An awareness of whoand what one is protects the person from a new form of slavery and colonization that could shackle the spirit. Education in freedom and for freedom will capacitate the person to be the author of his destiny and the master of his fate.

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