31 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on Flyvbjerg's (2001) call for the development of phronetic social science, this paper argues that much current research into pro-environmental behaviour (PEB) is misguided, and even potentially dangerous. After outlining Flyvbjerg's argument, it reviews existing work on PEB and argues that, to date, it has predominantly sought after the Aristotelian intellectual virtues of either episteme or techne, and has neglected phronesis which Aristotle himself saw as most important. It then explores the ways in which aspects of a phronetic approach are being developed in cultural geography and environmental sociology, before offering a brief empirical case study of a PEB-change initiative to illustrate what a phronetic approach to research might look like. It concludes by calling for an improved and more reflexive dialogue between PEB researchers regarding the purpose and approach of their work, both in order to improve the relevance and impact of their research, and in order to help individuals and communities understand and confront the significant environmental challenges they currently face.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

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