Pragmatic paths to environmental sustainability

After summarizing what I take to be the main contribution of Norton’s book––his proposal for a new vocabulary for public discourse as it pertains to environmental stability––I attempt to locate his work among some of the current debates regarding sustainability and public policy. I detail some of the ways in which this work constitutes a further development of themes he presented in 1991 in Toward unity Among Environmentalists. I discuss his prescriptions for defusing confrontations regarding environmental policy by functionalizing issues in ways that cut across historically entrenched interest groups. From the standpoint of method, I␣argue that Norton has stacked a Habermas- type proceduralism on top of a pragmatic experimentalist platform (and I add that if he had constructed his method the other way around it would not have worked.) In all this I find Norton’s proposals both imaginative and full of promise.
Keywords environmentalism  EPA  functionalism  ideology  John Dewey  naturalism  pragmatism  sustainability
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-007-9039-8
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