International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Final Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Professor Jude Fernando

Second Reader

Professor Nigel Brissett


metaphysics, worldview, consumption, food security, sustainability, Gaia Theory


This Master's Paper relies on secondary research in addition to theoretical and philosophical arguments to show that humanity's metaphysical worldview significantly underlies its valuing systems, institutions, and behavior. The paper uses the examples of modern industrial food production and emerging organic and local alternatives to provide a comparative analysis between fundamental worldviews and how they influence the way human systems originate and function. It is argued that the change required to address substantial and interconnected global issues will require a re-evaluation and scrutiny of the metaphysical assumptions inherent in the politics and practice of agriculture, food processing, and the very act of eating itself.

This paper ultimately connects the modern metaphysical worldview to the spread of neoliberal capitalism and offers evidence that the current globalizing capitalist economy cannot be sustained indefinitely. The space behind our individual thinking dictates what we value, prioritize, and the ways in which we behave and perceive each other and the world. Social change in the form of a metaphysical shift in worldview is required to bring about the mandatory evolution of global society including but not limited to the creation of a sustainable food production-consumption paradigm.



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