Journal article

Voluntary Simplicity Strongly Backed by All Three Main Normative-Ethical Traditions

Rupert Read, Samuel Alexander, Jacob Garrett



We examine the growing ‘Voluntary Simplicity’ (VS) movement from the perspectives of Utilitarianism, Kantian deontology, and Virtue Ethics. We argue that, from each of these three diverse perspectives, there is a compelling argument to the conclusion that citizens of the ‘developed’ world ought to embrace such simplicity in their own lives, and to facilitate its greater adoption societally and globally. We conclude by asking why it is that this compelling conclusion has not already been more widely found and acted upon. In reflecting on this question we outline some arguments for why a culture of voluntary simplicity may be needed to drive political and macroeconomic change.

University of Melbourne Researchers