Symbiosis and the Ecological Role of Philosophy

Dialogue 38 (04):699- (1999)
Abstract
It has now been nearly 25 years since Richard Routley (1973) argued persuasively, at the 15th World Congress of Philosophy, that we can discern a need for a “new, an environmental, ethic.” And yet, students of environmental ethics still sometimes feel that we have to defend our discipline as serious philosophy. My purpose here is to revisit, from a somewhat different direction, the ground covered by Routley, and argue that environmental philosophy (which I consider to be a broader enterprise than the ethics that flows out of it) is not “pop” metaphysics or a trivial branch of applied ethics, but something that, if done well, could be a whole new approach to philosophy ⎯ one which could revitalize our discipline and re-establish its relevance in a troubled time when nothing might be more valuable for humanity than a careful rethinking of first principles.
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Richard Rorty (1993). Putnam and the Relativist Menace. Journal of Philosophy 60 (9):443-461.

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