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Really different? The future of future studies1

Really different? The future of future studies1 Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline the contours of futures studies that override the ethnocentric epistemological limitations of present studies, which are mono‐civilizational and extrapolations from Western experience. Design/methodology/approach – The paper shows by empirical and conceptual means the inadequacy of present futures studies – based partly on alleged American exceptionalism – which limit the imagination of futurists. The paper then uses a different philosophical base, namely Buddhist process philosophy, which puts change at its inner core to develop a new perspective. Findings – The paper finds that the alleged American exceptionalism is based on founding myths and ground realities not necessarily present in other countries. Huntington and others evoked the role of civilizations before the rise of Asia was being fully noticed. Current US dominance is illustrated to some extent by “everywhere is America”, but in a reverse direction “everywhere is in America” as the world implodes back on the USA through migration and through globalization. Originality/value – The approach suggested in the paper will provide a more penetrating epistemology for future studies than hitherto ad hoc approaches. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png foresight Emerald Publishing

Really different? The future of future studies1

foresight , Volume 10 (4): 15 – Jul 18, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1463-6689
DOI
10.1108/14636680810908037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline the contours of futures studies that override the ethnocentric epistemological limitations of present studies, which are mono‐civilizational and extrapolations from Western experience. Design/methodology/approach – The paper shows by empirical and conceptual means the inadequacy of present futures studies – based partly on alleged American exceptionalism – which limit the imagination of futurists. The paper then uses a different philosophical base, namely Buddhist process philosophy, which puts change at its inner core to develop a new perspective. Findings – The paper finds that the alleged American exceptionalism is based on founding myths and ground realities not necessarily present in other countries. Huntington and others evoked the role of civilizations before the rise of Asia was being fully noticed. Current US dominance is illustrated to some extent by “everywhere is America”, but in a reverse direction “everywhere is in America” as the world implodes back on the USA through migration and through globalization. Originality/value – The approach suggested in the paper will provide a more penetrating epistemology for future studies than hitherto ad hoc approaches.

Journal

foresightEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 18, 2008

Keywords: Philosophy; United States of America

References