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Simplicity and Sustainability: Pointers from Ethics and Science

Center for Nonlinear Analysis, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890, USA
Department of Mathematical Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1303;
Received: 14 December 2017 / Revised: 6 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
PDF [518 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


In this paper, we explore the notion of simplicity. We use definitions of simplicity proposed by philosophers, scientists, and economists. In an age when the rapidly growing human population faces an equally rapidly declining energy/material resources, there is an urgent need to consider various notions of simplicity, collective and individual, which we believe to be a sensible path to restore our planet to a reasonable state of health. Following the logic of mathematicians and physicists, we suggest that simplicity can be related to sustainability. Our efforts must therefore not be spent so much in pursuit of growth but in achieving a sustainable life. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; simplicity; ethics; entropy; mathematical modeling sustainability; simplicity; ethics; entropy; mathematical modeling

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Massoudi, M.; Vaidya, A. Simplicity and Sustainability: Pointers from Ethics and Science. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1303.

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