Paul B. Thompson
Michigan State University
Bryan Norton’s 2005 book Sustainability describes a pragmatic approach to environmental philosophy that stresses philosophy’s role as one of mediating between scientific and ordinary language. But on two topics, Norton’s approach is not pragmatic enough. In the case of his discussion of risk, he accedes to a scientific notion that fails to acknowledge the way that ordinary usage of the word risk involves pragmatic links to human action and moral responsibility. With respect to the word sustainability, his analysis fails to acknowledge important scientific work that characterizes the functional integrity of system cycling, opting instead for usage grounded either in economic accounting or in an even less substantive sense of a broad social movement for environmental improvement. On each of these topics, adherence to the pragmatic orientation of Norton’s philosophy results in a different analysis of the concepts in question
Keywords environmental philosophy  Norton  pragmatism  risk  sustainability
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-007-9041-1
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References found in this work BETA

The Ethics of Truth-Telling and the Problem of Risk.Paul B. Thompson - 1999 - Science and Engineering Ethics 5 (4):489-510.

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