This collection is drawn from a recent Global Political conference held to mark the centenary of the birth of Harold Innis, Canada's most important political economist. Throughout his life, Innis was concerned with topics which remain central to politicalecology today, such as the link between culture and nature, the impact of humanity on the environment and the role of technology and communications. In this volume, the contributors address environmental issues which Innes was concerened with, from (...) a contemporary, political economy perspective. They explore a wide range of themes and issues including: sustainability; risk and regulation; population growth; and planetary management. Case studies provide further insight into issues such as industrial racism, women and development and collective action. (shrink)
This book presents a comprehensive view of an important new field in human geography and interdisciplinary studies of nature-society relations. Tracing the development of politicalecology from its origins in geography and ecological anthropology in the 1970s, to its current status as an established field, the book investigates how late twentieth-century developments in social and ecological theories are brought together to create a powerful framework for comprehending environmental problems. Making PoliticalEcology argues for an inclusionary conceptualization (...) of the field that absorbs empirical studies from urban, rural, First World and Third World contexts and the theoretical insights of feminism, poststructuralism, neo-Marxism, and non-equilibrium ecology. Extracts from the writings of key figures in politicalecology provide an empirical grounding for these abstract concepts. Neumann's book will convince readers of politicalecology's particular suitability for grappling with the most difficult questions concerning social justice, environmental change, and human relationships with nature. (shrink)
Politicalecology has developed as an academic discipline in reaction to the increased concern of nations and individuals about humanity's adverse impact on the environment and the ways international bodies have moved to counter this impact. This new text draws together international experts at the cutting edge of this new field to focus on real world examples of problems and the tension between developed and developing states.
Ecology and Revolution: Global Crisis and the Political Challenge is an in-depth exploration and analysis of the global ecological crisis (going far beyond the issue of global warming) in the larger context of historical conditions and ...
The force of things -- The agency of assemblages -- Edible matter -- A life of metal -- Neither vitalism nor mechanism -- Stem cells and the culture of life -- Political ecologies -- Vitality and self-interest.
The hatchet and the seed -- A tree with deep roots -- The critical tools -- A field crystallizes -- Destruction of nature -- Construction of nature -- Degradation and marginalization -- Conservation and control -- Environmental conflict -- Environmental identity and social movement -- Where to now?
In recent years the engagement between the environmental 'agenda' and mainstream political theory has become increasingly widespread and profound. Each has affected the other in palpable and important ways, and it makes increasingly less sense for political theorists in either camp to ignore what the other is doing. This book draws together the threads of this interconnecting enquiry in order to assess its status and meaning. Dobson and Eckersley, two renowned scholars in this field, have commissioned an internationally (...) recognised group of political theory scholars to think through the challenge that politicalecology presents to political theory. Looking at fourteen familiar political ideologies and concepts such as liberalism, conservatism, justice, and democracy, the contributors question how they are re-shaped, distorted or transformed from an environmental perspective. Lively, accessible and authoritative, this book will appeal to professional scholars and students alike. (shrink)
What is the optimal political framework for environmental reform reform on a scale commensurate with the global ecological crisis? In particular, how adequate are liberal forms of parliamentary democracy to the challenge posed by this crisis? These are the questions pondered by the contributors to this volume. Exploration of the possibilities of democracy gives rise to certain common themes. These are the relation between ecological morality and political structures or procedures and the question of the structure of decision-making (...) and distribution of information in political systems. The idea of 'democracy without traditional boundaries' is discussed as a key both to environmentalism in an age of global ecology and to the revitalisation of democracy itself in a world of increasingly protean constituencies and mutable boundaries. (shrink)
This book examines the relationship between environmental and democratic thought and the apparent compatibility of ecology and democracy. Although environmental politics is quite rightly seen as a progressive force, it has also featured a strand of extreme right "eco-authoritarianism" and its proponents have sometimes developed controversial positions on such issues as population policy. There have also been a number of situations where radical environmental activists have broken the laws of democratic societies in pursuit of ecological objectives and the book (...) examines this in a number of case studies on biotechnology, genetic engineering and biodiversity. This is a significant contribution to the literature on environmental politics, ecological thought and democracy. (shrink)
Presents a provocatively anthropocentric analysis of the way forward for green politics and environmental movements, exposing the deficiencies and contradictions of green approaches to post-modern politics and deep ecology. This title available in eBook format. Click here for more information . Visit our eBookstore at: www.ebookstore.tandf.co.uk.
This volume analyzes authoritarian, reformist, Marxist and anarchist approaches to the environmental problem, exposing the relationships between environmental crises, economic structures and the role of the state.
Why are nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) so successful in today’s world? How do they empower themselves? This insightful book provides important new perspectives on the strategic thinking of NGOs, the way they identify themselves, and how they behave. Raymond L. Bryant develops a novel theoretical perspective around the concept of moral capital and assesses that concept through in-depth case studies of NGOs in the Philippines. The book’s focus is on perceptions of NGOs as moral and altruistic and how such perceptions can (...) translate into social power. Bryant examines the ambiguous qualities of NGO strategizing, the ways in which the quest for moral capital is bedeviled by the need to compromise with political and economic elites, and the possibilities for NGOs to achieve political goals as moral leaders. (shrink)
In the first edition of Radical Ecology --the now classic examination major philosophical, ethical, scientific, and economic roots of environmental problems--Carolyn Merchant responded to the profound awareness of environmental crisis which prevailed in the closing decade of the twentieth century. In this provocative and readable study, Merchant examined the ways that radical ecologists can transform science and society in order to sustain life on this planet. Now in this second edition, Merchant continues to emphasize how laws, regulations and scientific (...) research alone cannot reverse the spread of pollution or restore our dwindling resources. Merchant argues that in order to maintain a livable world, we must formulate new social, economic, scientific, and spiritual approaches that will fundamentally transform human relationships with nature. She analyzes the revolutionary ideas of visionary ecologists for a new economy, society, science, and religion, and examines their efforts to bring environmental problems to the attention of the public. This new edition features a new Introduction from the author, a thorough updating of chapters, and two entirely new chapters on recent global movements and globalization and the environment. It is a timely update that will give students everything they need to know on the most recent philosophical positions and social movements that characterize the radical ecology spectrum. (shrink)
In rural Cambodia the rampant allocation of state land to political elites and foreign investors in the form of “Economic Land Concessions (ELCs)”—estimated to cover an area equivalent to more than 50 % of the country’s arable land—has been associated with encroachment on farmland, community forests and indigenous territories and has contributed to a rapid increase of rural landlessness. By contrast, less than 7,000 ha of land have been allotted to land-poor and landless farmers under the pilot project for (...) “Social Land Concessions (SLCs)” supported by various donor agencies. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in two research sites in Kratie Province, this article sheds light on the mechanisms and discourses surrounding the allocation of ELCs and SLCs. Our findings suggest that large-scale and non-transparent land leases in the form of ELCs are discursively justified as land policy measures supporting national development, creating employment opportunities in rural areas, and restoring “degraded” and “non-use” land, while SLCs are presented by the government and its international donors as a complementary policy to reduce landlessness, alleviate rural poverty, and ensure a more equitable land distribution. We argue that the SLC pilot project is a deliberate strategy deployed by the Cambodian ruling elite to instrumentalize international aid agencies in formalizing displacement and distributional injustices, in smoothing the adverse social impacts of their very own land policies and in minimizing resistance by dispossessed rural people. (shrink)
Introduction: an imaginary crisis? reframing green politics -- Nature and society: society within nature; nature within society; from nature to human environment -- Sustainability after the end of nature: the principle of sustainability; the politics of sustainability -- Towards a green liberal society: green politics, democracy and liberalism; can we democratise sustainability?; ecological citizenship and sustainability -- Conclusion: the future of green politics.
From environmental justice to environmental citizenship -- Citizens, citizenship and citizenization -- Rethinking environment and citizenship : ecological citizenship as a politics of obligation and virtues -- Environmental governance, social movements and citizenship in a global -- Context -- Corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability -- Environmental borderlands -- Insiders and outsiders in environmental mobilizations in Southeast Asia -- Citizenship generation, NGO campaigns and community-based research -- Acting and changing through lived experience : the new vocabulary of ecological citizenship, a new (...) research strategy. (shrink)
This work provides a reflective assessment of recent developments, social relevance and future of environmental political theory, concluding that although the alleged pacification of environmentalism is more than skin deep, it is not yet quite deep enough. This book will appeal to students and researchers of social science and philosophers with an interest in environmental issues.
Ecopolitics is a study of environmental awareness--or non-awareness--in contemporary French theory. Arguing that it is now impossible not to think in an ecological way, Verena Andermatt Conley traces the roots of today's concern for the environment back to the intellectual climate of the late '50s and '60s. Major thinkers of 1968, the author argues, changed the way we think the world; this owes much to an ecological awareness that remains at the heart of issues concerning cultural theory in general. The (...) book points to critiques of ecology in the work of Luc Ferry and Jean Baudrillard before turning to more complicated ecological awareness primarily in French thought. The author considers key texts by influential figures such as Michael Serres, Paul Virilio, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Michel de Certeau, Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray. (shrink)
This is the first book-length treatment of the relationship between citizenship and the environment. Andrew Dobson argues that ecological citizenship cannot be fully articulated in terms of the two great traditions of citizenship - liberal and civic republican - with which we have been bequeathed. He develops an original theory of citizenship, which he calls 'post-cosmopolitan', and argues that ecological citizenship is an example and an inflection of it. Ecological citizenship focuses on duties as well as rights, and these duties (...) are owed non-reciprocally, by those individuals and communities who occupy unsustainable amounts of ecological space, to those who occupy too little. (shrink)
Much of the world will be living in broadly "liberal" societies for the foreseeable future. Sustainability and security, however defined, must therefore be considered in the context of such societies, yet there is very little significant literature that does so. Indeed, much ecologically-oriented literature is overtly anti-liberal, as have been some recent responses to security concerns. This book explores the implications for sustainability and security of a range of intellectual perspectives on liberalism, such as those offered by John Rawls, Robert (...) Nozick, Frederick Hayek, Ronald Dworkin, Michael Oakeshott, Amartya Sen and Jrgen Habermas. (shrink)
The Struggle for Nature outlines and examines the main aspects of current environmental philosophy including deep ecology, social and politicalecology, eco-feminism and eco-anarchism. It criticizes the dependency on science of these philosophies and the social problems engendered by them. Jozef Keulartz argues for a post-naturalistic turn in environmental philosophy. The Struggle for Nature presents the most up-to-date arguments in environmental philosophy, which will be valuable reading for anyone interested in applied philosophy, environmental studies or geography.
This volume is the result of a collaborative endeavor to advance debates on environmental citizenship, while simultaneously and systematically addressing broader theoretical and methodological questions related to the particularities of ...
Marxism has long been subject to criticism from the theorists of PoliticalEcology, and in recent years, as the concerns of Green thinkers have become harder to ignore, Marxists have begun to respond to this challenge, defending and sometimes amending Marxist theory in response to Green criticisms. This paper addresses one issue within this debate: the controversy over Marx’s commitment to the growth, or development, of the productive forces. My aim is to dispute the contention of Marx’s Green (...) critics, that his concept of the development of the productive forces leads inevitably to the exacerbation of ecological problems, and, more speculatively, to suggest some advantages of using this concept to investigate ecological problems. (shrink)
Morin's thoughts on environmental destruction flow from the perspective of a metatheorist of politicalecology. His early writings emphasize the interaction of nature and culture; his "acentric" interpretations of systems theory challenge ecological theorists who overemphasize centralized programming as a remedy for destructive patterns of subsystem interaction. Morin also criticizes defenders of "sustainable development" who fail to see system-renewing potential in cultural diversity. As an environmental metatheorist, he offers not rules for a new green ethic, but a way (...) of thinking designed to enhance respect for pluralism, ambiguity, and natural complexity. (shrink)
One of the main challenges faced by realists in political philosophy is that of offering an account of authority that is genuinely normative and yet does not consist of a moralistic application of general, abstract ethical principles to the practice of politics. Political moralists typically start by devising a conception of justice based on their pre-political moral commitments; authority would then be legitimate only if political power is exercised in accordance with justice. As an alternative to (...) that dominant approach I put forward the idea that upturning the relationship between justice and legitimacy affords a normative notion of authority that does not depend on a pre-political account of morality, and thus avoids some serious problems faced by mainstream theories of justice. I then argue that the appropriate purpose of justice is simply to specify the implementation of an independently grounded conception of legitimacy, which in turn rests on a context- and practice-sensitive understanding of the purpose of political power. (shrink)
Can political theory be action-guiding without relying on pre-political normative commitments? I answer that question affirmatively by unpacking two related tenets of Raymond Geuss’ political realism: the view that political philosophy should not be a branch of ethics, and the ensuing empirically-informed conception of legitimacy. I argue that the former idea can be made sense of by reference to Hobbes’ account of authorization, and that realist legitimacy can be normatively salient in so far as it stands (...) in the correct relation to a theory of justice and problematizes its sources of value through what Geuss terms ‘political imagination’. (shrink)
A good philosophical understanding of ecology is important for a number of reasons. First, ecology is an important and fascinating branch of biology, with distinctive philosophical issues. Second, ecology is only one small step away from urgent political, ethical, and management decisions about how best to live in an apparently fragile and increasingly-degraded environment. Third, philosophy of ecology, properly conceived, can contribute directly to both our understanding of ecology and help with its advancement. Philosophy (...) of ecology can thus be seen as part of the emerging discipline of “biohumanities”, where biology and humanities disciplines together advance our understanding and knowledge of biology (Stotz and Griffiths 2008). In this paper, we focus primarily on this third role of the philosophy of ecology and consider a number of places where philosophy can play an important role in ecology. In the process, we survey some of the current research being done in philosophy of ecology, as well as make suggestions about the agenda for future research in this area. We also hope to help clarify what philosophy of ecology is and what it should aspire to be. In what follows, we discuss several topics in the philosophy of ecology and conservation biology, starting with the role and understanding of mathematical models. This is followed by a discussion of a couple of practical problems involving the standard model of hypothesis testing and the use of decision-theoretic methods in environmental science. We then move on to discuss the issue of how we should understand biodiversity, and why this matters for conservation management. Finally, we look at environmental ethics and its relationship with ecology and conservation biology. These four topics were chosen because they are all of contemporary interest in philosophy of ecology circles and are ones where there is much fruitful work still to be done. The topics in question are also useful vehicles for highlighting the variety of issues in ecology and conservation biology where philosophy might prove useful.. (shrink)
Philosophical interest in ecology is relatively new. Standard texts in the philosophy of biology pay little or no attention to ecology (though Sterelny and Griffiths 1999 is an exception). This is in part because the science of ecology itself is relatively new, but whatever the reasons for the neglect in the past, the situation must change. A good philosophical understanding of ecology is important for a number of reasons. First, ecology is an important and fascinating (...) branch of biology with distinctive philosophical issues that arise from its study. Second, ecology is only one small step away from urgent political, ethical, and management decisions about how best to live in an apparently increasingly-fragile environment. Third, philosophy of ecology, properly conceived, can contribute directly to both our understanding of ecology and help with its advancement. Philosophy of ecology can thus be seen as part of the emerging discipline of “biohumanities”, where biology and humanities disciplines together advance our understanding and knowledge of biology (Stotz and Griffiths forthcoming). In this paper, we focus primarily on this third role of the philosophy of ecology and consider a number of places where philosophy can play an important role in ecology. In the process, we.. (shrink)
community reflecting on itself, uncovering its history, exploring its present predicament, and contemplating its future.  One aspect of this awakening is a process of philosophical reflection. As a philosophical approach, a social ecology investigates the ontological, epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of the relationship between the social and the ecological, and seeks the practical wisdom that results from such reflection. It seeks to give us, as beings situated in the course of real human and natural history, guidance (...) in facing specific challenges and opportunities. In doing so, it develops an analysis that is both holistic and dialectical, and a social practice that might best be described as an eco-communitarianism. (shrink)
The accusation that contemporary political philosophy is carried out in too ahistorical a fashion depends upon it being possible for historical facts to ground normative political principles. This they cannot do. Each of the seven ways in which it might be thought possible for them to do so fails for one or more of four reasons: (1) History yields no timeless set of universal moral values; (2) it displays no convergence upon such a set; (3) it reveals no (...) univocal moral or cultural context in the present; (4) the failure of an ethical tradition to successfully respond to criticism over a long period of time is no guarantee of its inability to do so. Because historical critiques of contemporary normative thought rely upon one or more of these things holding true, they are, as a class of arguments, to be rejected. (shrink)
Instrumentalism about moral compromise in politics appears inconsistent with accepting both the existence of non-instrumental or principled reasons for moral compromise in close personal friendships and a rich ideal of civic friendship. Using a robust conception of political reconciliation during democratic transitions as an example of civic friendship, I argue that all three claims are compatible. Spouses have principled reasons for compromise because they commit to sharing responsibility for their joint success as partners in life, and not because their (...) relationship involves strong affective attitudes of goodwill, solidarity, trust, and the like. Since shared responsibility for ends is an inappropriate element in the political relationship between citizens, the members of a divided society may manifest the constitutive attitudes of political reconciliation without any commitment to principled reasons for moral compromise. (shrink)
There has recently been considerable discussion of the relative merits of deep ecology and ecofeminism, primarily from an ecofeminist perspective. I argue that the essential ecofeminist charge against deep ecology is that deep ecology focuses on the issue of anthropocentrism (i.e., human-centeredness) rather than androcentrism (i.e., malecenteredness). I point out that this charge is not directed at deep ecology’s positive or constructive task of encouraging an attitude of ecocentric egalitarianism, but rather at deep ecology's negative (...) or critical task of dismantling anthropocentrism. I outline a number of problems that can attend not only the ecofeminist critique of deep ecology, but also comparable critiques that proceed from a broad range of social and political perspectives. I then proceed to argue that deep ecology’s concem with anthropocentrism is entirely defensible-and defensible in a way that should be seen as complementing and expanding the focus of radical social and political critiques rather thanin terms of these approaches versus deep ecology. (shrink)
The essay provides a short outline of Berlin's career and an assessment of his contribution to pluralist and liberal thought. He was a British academic with a Russian cast of mind, and an inhabitant of the ivory tower who was very much at home in the diplomatic and political world. Similarly, he was neither a historian of ideas nor a political philosopher in the narrow sense usually understood in the modern academy. Rather, he engaged in a trans-historical conversation (...) about the human condition with such figures as Machiavelli, Herzen, Vico, and Herder. The Russian liberal understanding of the historical and cultural setting was, in his view, much superior to that of familiar figures such as John Stuart Mill, just as the nonliberal Machiavelli cast a particularly vivid light on the problems of a pluralist world view. (shrink)
This paper aims to offer an account of state apologies that discloses their potential function as catalysing political acts within broader processes of democratic change. While lots of ink has been spilled on analysing the relationship between apologies and processes of recognising the victims and their descendants, more needs to be said about how apologies can challenge the presence of self-congratulatory, distorted visions of history within the public sphere of liberal democracies. My account will be delineated through a critical (...) engagement with one very frequent objection to public apologies, namely that they unnecessarily taint the self-image of the community. Insights from the philosophy of judgment will be used to show how, in the form of an exemplary judgment, an official “sorry” can inspire societal reflection about an unsavoury past. (shrink)
Recent disclosures regarding the relationship between Heidegger’s thought and his own version of National Socialism have led me to rethink my earlier efforts to portray Heidegger as a forerunner of deep ecology. His political problems have provided ammunition for critics, such as Murray Bookchin, who regard deep ecology as a reactionary movement. In this essay, I argue that, despite some similarities, Heidegger’s thought and deep ecology are in many ways incompatible, in part because deep ecologists—in spite (...) of their criticism of the ecologically destructive character of technological modernity—generally support a “progressive” idea of human evolution. (shrink)
This case study applies Integral Ecology to analyze the broad range of strategies environmentalists have undertaken to create protected areas and change forest practices in the Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada. Rainforest conservation efforts in the region promoted holistic, trans-disciplinary solutions and fostered agreement among diverse stakeholders, modeling an Integral Ecology approach. Environmentalists worked locally and globally, engaging with economic, cultural, political, and scientific systems to create change. The campaign involved transformations at personal and cultural levels (...) that have enabled negotiated solutions involving over twenty million acres of rainforest on British Columbia's coast. (shrink)
Philosophers, Henri Bergson once observed, "seem to philosophize as if they were sealed in the privacy of their study and did not live on a planet surrounded by the vast organic world of animals, plants, insects, and protozoa." Providing a solid overview of ecological philosophy and original insights into this developing field, Minding Nature focuses on some of the most influential thinkers who, in fact, have emphasized our natural relations to the earth, our social creations, and each other. Combining philosophy, (...)ecology, and political theory, chapters thoroughly examine, critique, and build upon the ideas of such luminaries as Thomas Hobbes, Martin Heidegger, Ernst Bloch, Hannah Arendt, Herbert Marcuse, Barry Commoner, Rachel Carson, and Jurgen Habermas, among others. Each thinker considered has contributed significantly to both contemporary discussion and historical understanding of political, epistemological, or social aspects related to nature and, with several exceptions, stimulated constructive dialogue within progressive, democratic, and radical left circles. By challenging the notion that conservation is inherently politically conservative or that our oikos (home) must be rendered uniformly economic where ecology is concerned, they enable us to rethink the possibility of creating a more democratic and ecological society. (shrink)
There are limits on the duty to tell the truth. Sometimes, because of the undesirable consequences of honesty, we are morally required not to reveal certain truths and can even be required to lie. In this article, we explore the implications of this uncontroversial claim for the practice of political philosophers. We argue that, given the consequences of misunderstandings and misrepresentations that might occur, political philosophers will sometimes be under a moral duty not to disseminate their research and, (...) in highly exceptional cases, have a moral duty to lie outright. (shrink)
Successful fishery management requires that a dynamic balance of disciplines provide a fully integrated approach. I use Integral Ecology to analyze multiple-use conflicts with an ornamental reef-fish fishery in Hawai'i that is community-managed via the implementation of a series of marine protected areas and the creation of an advisory council. This approach illustrates how the joyful experiences of snorkelers resulted in negative interactions with fish collectors and, thereafter, produced social movements, political will, and ecological change. Although conflicts were (...) reduced and sustainability promoted, lack of acknowledgment of differing worldviews, including persistent native Hawaiian cultural beliefs, contributed to continued conflicts. (shrink)
Nature in its wider cosmic sense is not at risk from human exploitation and predation. To see life on Earth as but a local manifestation of this wider, indestructable and inexhaustible nature is to shield ourselves from despair over the fate of our Earth. But to take this wide view also appears to make interventionist political action on behalf of nature-which is to say, conservation-superfluous. If we identify with nature in its widest sense, as deep ecology prescribes, then (...) the “self-defence” argument usually advanced by deep ecologists in support of conservation appears not to work. I argue that the need for eco-activism can be reconciled with a rejection of despair within the framework of deep ecology, and that in the process of this reconciliation the meaning of the term conservation acquires a new, spiritual dimension. (shrink)
While both ecofeminism and deep ecology share a commitment to overcoming the conventional division between humanity and nature, a major difference between the two is that deep ecology brings little social analysis to its environmental ethic. I argue that there are ideological reasons for this difference. Applying a sociology of knowledge and discourse analysis to deep ecological texts to uncover these reasons, I conclude that deep ecology is constrained by political attitudes meaningful to white-male, middle-class professionals (...) whose thought is not grounded in the labor of daily maintenance and survival. At a micro-political level, this masculinist orientation is revealed by an armory of defensive discursive strategies and techniques used in deep ecological responses to ecofeminist criticism. (shrink)
The destructive tension between human needs and environmental conservation arises from flaws in our political and economic structures. Oppression of people and devastation of nature go hand in hand, and the root of both these evils is the denial of otherness. The ecology movement is basically a movement of liberation, and is in league, de jure and de facto, with other liberation movements, since it seeks to promote the rights ofthe nonhuman world. In this context, subjugation of the (...) Other is immoral in all forms and ultimately suicidal. Recognition of the value of nonhuman nature doesn’t preclude a rational use of it, but requires something analogous to the primitive custom of apologizing to the spirits of prey, i.e., a mixture of religious respect and common sense. Awareness of the beauty and power of nature, like awareness ofthe injured rights of our fellow humans, creates a revolutionary moral imperative to change the life of our society. (shrink)
These remarkable essays include Cornelius Castoriadis's latest contributions to philosophy, political and social theory, classical studies, development theory, cultural criticism, science, and ecology. Examining the "co-birth" in ancient Greece of philosophy and politics, Castoriadis shows how the Greeks' radical questioning of established ideas and institutions gave rise to the "project of autonomy". The "end of philosophy" proclaimed by Postmodernism would mean the end of this project. That end is now hastened by the lethal expansion of technoscience, the waning (...) of political and social conflict, and the resignation of intellectuals who blindly defend Western culture as it is or who merely denounce or "deconstruct" it as it has been. Discussing and criticizing Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, Weber, Heidegger, and Habermas, the author of The Imaginary Institution of Society and Crossroads in the Labyrinth poses a radical challenge to our inherited philosophy. (shrink)
Niklas Luhmann is widely recognized as one of the most original thinkers in the social sciences today. This major new work further develops the theories of the author by offering a challenging analysis of the relationship between society and the environment. Luhmann extends the concept of "ecology" to refer to any analysis that looks at connections between social systems and the surrounding environment. He traces the development of the notion of "environment" from the medieval idea--which encompasses both human and (...) natural systems--to our modern definition, which separates social systems from the external environment. In Luhmann's thought, human beings form part of the environment, while social systems consist only of communications. Utilizing this distinctive theoretical perspective, Luhmann presents a comprehensive catalog of society's reactions to environmental problems. He investigates the spheres of the economy, law, science, politics, religion, and education to show how these areas relate to environmental issues. Ecological Communication is an important work that critically examines claims central to our society--claims to modernity and rationality. It will be of great importance to scholars and students in sociology, political science, philosophy, anthropology, and law. (shrink)
In this article, it is argued that a significant internal tension exists in John Rawls' political liberalism. He holds the following positions that might plausibly be considered incongruous: (1) a commitment to tolerating a broad right of freedom of political speech, including a right of subversive advocacy; (2) a commitment to restricting this broad right if it is intended to incite and likely to bring about imminent violence; and (3) a commitment to curbing this broad right only if (...) there is a constitutional crisis. By supporting a broad right of freedom of political speech in Political Liberalism, he allows militant intolerant people such as Jihadists, White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis to advocate publicly their dangerously intolerant beliefs. Public advocacy of dangerously intolerant beliefs can be construed as subversive advocacy. As demonstrated by the historical examples of the Weimar Republic and the Second Spanish Republic, militant intolerant groups could use a right of subversive advocacy to threaten the stability of liberal democracies. Hence, by allowing them to exercise a broad right of freedom of political speech, Rawls could jeopardize that which he intends to defend, namely the actual political stability of a liberal democratic order. Lastly, Rawls' conception of ideal constitutional interpretation, which privileges a broad right of freedom of political speech, might be insufficient to deal effectively with the threat posed by militant intolerant groups. Yet a tradition of American constitutional interpretation that balances freedom of speech with other important constitutional and/or political values has overcome a civil war, two world wars, the Cold War and the 9/11 terrorist attacks without abandoning democracy or permanently renouncing those values. Still, Rawls' ideal approach to constitutional interpretation might, in hindsight, help us to understand some of the excesses and deficiencies of American jurisprudence in times of emergency.
Since time immemorial Indian culture has been upholding a symbiotic relationship between man and environment. It has led to the all round evolution of Indian culture as an integral whole. This assimilation has been possible due to the spiritual vision of Indian seers. Every Culture is based upon certain values. In India values are usually discussed in the context of the principal ends of human life (chatuspurusartha): dharma (moral value), artha (political and economic values), kama (sensual value) and moksha (...) (spiritual value). Indian cultural tradition shaped human behaviour in accordance with these values, which impinged ecological issues as well. Again, Indian classification of value is based on two percepts. These are (1) the essential infinitude and divinity of all souls and (2) the essential oneness and solidarity of universe and all life. Supreme being resides in all; hence no area of life is alien to spiritual influence. It emphasizes the presence of an infinite knowledge, power, purity and bliss behind the body-mind complex of human beings, which is called Atman. Upanisads express this truth as Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman) or Ayam Atma Brahma (the individual soul is Brahman) or Tat Twam Asi (thou art that). Acceptance of the presence of God in everything led Indian culture to maintain and protect the natural harmonious relationship between human beings and nature. Moreover, Indians discovered the essential unity of all existence. The universe is holistic. Here at the deeper level of all pervading consciousness everything in the world is interconnected. Oneness of the entire reality is the basic presupposition and the guiding principle of the spiritualistic approach of Indian culture. The paper is an attempt to show that the holistic view of Indian culture is mirrored in the philosophy of ecology. (shrink)
Environment is essentially in the category of culture and environmental research should be based on human value and culture. The study of the relationship between humans and their natural environment should also refer to human relations. Since the operational logic of social capital is the root of ecological crisis, the ultimate solution to this problem lies in human’s correct thinking, institutional, political and behavioral patterns in dealing with nature. Re-establishing human ecology therefore provides a cultural basis for the (...) harmony between human and nature and realistic basis for the psycho-physical harmony and spiritualization of humans. (shrink)
Scholars have long debated the relationship between Kant’s doctrine of right and his doctrine of virtue (including his moral religion or ethico-theology), which are the two branches of his moral philosophy. This article will examine the intimate connection in his practical philosophy between perpetual peace and the highest good, between political and ethico-religious communities, and between the types of transparency peculiar to each. It will show how domestic and international right provides a framework for the development of ethical communities, (...) including a kingdom of ends and even the noumenal ethical community of an afterlife, and how the transparency and trust achieved in these communities is anticipated in rightful political society by publicity and the mutual confidence among citizens that it engenders. Finally, it will explore the implications of this synthesis of Kant’s political and religious philosophies for contemporary Kantian political theories, especially those of Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls. (shrink)
This essay presents a new way of conceptualizing the problem of political obligation. On the traditional ‘normativist’ framing of the issue, theorists’ primary task is to secure the content and justification of political obligations, providing practically applicable moral knowledge. This paper develops an alternative, ‘pragmatist’ framing of the issue, by rehabilitating a frequently misunderstood essay by Hanna Pitkin and by recasting her argument in terms of the ‘pragmatic turn’ in recent philosophy, as articulated by Robert Brandom. From this (...) perspective, the content and justification of political obligations cannot be determined in a way that is in principle separable from their application. This casts ‘political obligation’ not as a problem to be philosophically resolved, but as a political predicament that calls for a kind of practical engagement. The merit of this perspective is to draw our attention toward the conditions under which the problem appears as a lived predicament. (shrink)
Within the literature in green political theory on global environmental threats one can often find dissatisfaction with liberal theories of justice. This is true even though liberal cosmopolitans regularly point to global environmental problems as one reason for expanding the scope of justice beyond the territorial limits of the state. One of the causes for scepticism towards liberal approaches is that many of the most notable anti-cosmopolitan theories are also advanced by liberals. In this paper, I first explain why (...) one of the strongest expressions of liberal anti-cosmopolitanism cannot simply be dismissed because it may fail to support desired environmental ends. The political conception of justice represents one of the most important challenges to cosmopolitanism generally and is thus a serious challenge to viewing global environmental problems in terms of cosmopolitan justice. Second, I will show through the case of anthropogenic global warming that the political conception of justice under current conditions does have clear cosmopolitan implications despite its proponents' claims. (shrink)
The paper advances a novel reading of the role of the constructivist idea of legitimacy at the systematic heart of Rawls-type political liberalism. This idea accords full discursive standing only to people who are reasonable in a highly substantive sense. The paper explains how this renders political liberalism both dogmatic and exclusivist at the higher-order level of arguments for or against theories of justice. The paper then outlines aspects of a view of political justification that is more (...) aligned with the inclusivist aspirations of justificatory liberalism that political liberalism shares but fails to successfully discharge. The paper follows the intuition that constructivist political justification should build on a widely sharable idea of reasonableness, outlines aspects of such an idea, and considers a method of inclusive abstraction by which such an idea could be enriched in content to become fruitful for the justification of liberal principles of justice. As the paper suggests, however, the move toward inclusivism faces constructivism with two important challenges. First, inclusivism about the scope of constructivist political justification can avoid dogmatism only if it invokes perfectionist considerations; and second, the authority of a suitably rich idea of reasonableness partly depends on whether we suitably value wide acceptability. (shrink)