HomeSynergeiavol. 3 no. 1 (2009)

Consumerism and Responsible Consumption: A Philosophical Approach

Lani Mae Z. Junio

Discipline: Psychology, Philosophy



This paper explores the phenomenon of consumerism, taking it as a dominant characteristic of contemporary culture and examining its threatening impact on one’s personhood. It shows how consumerism can betray us in a very deep way, for it injuriously strikes at our very reality as persons. It lures us into a web of deceptive and superficial self-fulfillment. It makes consumption the end-all and be-all of human life, equating human self-realization with having rather than being. When the logic of the consumer culture becomes the overarching framework with which human beings view themselves and the world, the person’s ontological worth is subverted, thereby “thingifying” or “dehumanizing” the human person. If left unchecked, consumerism ultimately reduces persons to depthless entities, commodities, or images and denies them their humanity.