We live in a world confronted by mounting environmental problems; increasing global deforestation and desertification, loss of species diversity, pollution and global warming. In everyday life people mourn the loss of valued landscapes and urban spaces. Underlying these problems are conflicting priorities and values. Yet dominant approaches to policy-making seem ill-equipped to capture the various ways in which the environment matters to us. Environmental Values introduces readers to these issues by presenting, and then challenging, two dominant approaches to environmental decision-making, (...) one from environmental economics, the other from environmental philosophy. The authors present a sustained case for questioning the underlying ethical theories of both of these traditions. They defend a pluralistic alternative rooted in the rich everyday relations of humans to the environments they inhabit, providing a path for integrating human needs with environmental protection through an understanding of the narrative and history of particular places. The book examines the implications of this approach for policy issues such as biodiversity conservation and sustainability. Written in a clear and accessible style for an interdisciplinary audience, this volume will be ideal for student use in environmental courses in geography, economics, philosophy, politics and sociology. (shrink)
Environmental pragmatism is a new strategy in environmental thought. It argues that theoretical debates are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. This new direction in environmental thought moves beyond theory, advocating a serious inquiry into the merits of moral pluralism. Environmental pragmatism, as a coherent philosophical position, connects the methodology of classical American pragmatic thought to the explanation, solution and discussion of real issues. This concise, well-focused collection is the first comprehensive presentation (...) of environmental pragmatism as a new philosophical approach to environmental thought and policy. (shrink)
In the past thirty years environmental ethics has emerged as one of the most vibrant and exciting areas of applied philosophy. Several journals and hundreds of books testify to its growing importance inside and outside philosophical circles. But with all of this scholarly output, it is arguably the case that environmental ethics is not living up to its promise of providing a philosophical contribution to the resolution of environmental problems. This article surveys the current state of the field and offers (...) an alternative path for the future development of environmental ethics toward a more publicly engaged model of applied philosophy. (shrink)
The aesthetics of everyday life, originally developed by Henri Lefebvre and other modernist theorists, is an extension of traditional aesthetics, usually confined to works of art. It is not limited to the study of humble objects but is rather concerned with all of the undeniably aesthetic experiences that arise when one contemplates objects or performs acts that are outside the traditional realm of aesthetics. It is concerned with the nature of the relationship between subject and object. One significant aspect of (...) everyday aesthetics is environmental aesthetics, whether constructed, as a building, or manipulated, as a landscape. Others, also discussed in the book, include sport, weather, smell and taste, and food. (shrink)
_ _ _Environmental Ethics: An Anthology_ brings together both classic and cutting-edge essays which have formed contemporary environmental ethics, ranging from the welfare of animals versus ecosystems to theories of the intrinsic value of nature.
What does American pragmatism contribute to contemporary debates about human-animal relationships? Does it acknowledge our connections to all living things? Does it bring us closer to an ethical treatment of all animals?
There are many ways to describe cities. As a physical environment, more so than many other environments, they are at least an extension of our present intentions. But cities are not conﬁned to the moment. Built spaces are also in conversation with the past and oriented toward the future as physical manifestations of our values and priorities. But even with all of the ways we have to describe cities we do not normally think of them as in any way akin (...) to the “natural” environment. City and country, nature and culture, are opposed. We move through cities differently, with a different set of values, whether articulated or not. Consider just one small example: Even the most jaded urban dweller may hesitate to sully the environment around him when he perceives it to be something other than a product of the human community. Though we have all seen trash in a national park, we suspect (or at least hope) that there is a kind of hesitancy that occurs with a person wondering what to do with her candy wrappers on a trail in Yosemite. On the other hand, a visitor to my home, Greenwich Village, will usually not think twice about tossing his cigarette butts on the ground as he walks toward his next destination. (shrink)
Discussion of ecological restoration in environmental ethics has tended to center on issues about the nature and character of the values that may or may not be produced by restored landscapes. In this paper we shift the philosophical discussion to another set of issues: the social and political context in which restorations are performed. We offer first an evaluation of the political issues in the practice of restoration in general and second an assessment of the political context into which restoration (...) is moving. The former focuses on the inherent participatory capacity at the heart of restoration; the latter is concerned with the commodified (primarily in the United States) and nationalized (primarily in Canada) uses to which restoration is being put. By comparing these two areas of inquiry we provide a foundation for a critical assessment of the politics of restoration based on the politics in restoration. (shrink)
Can we use technology in the pursuit of a good life, or are we doomed to having our lives organized and our priorities set by the demands of machines and systems? How can philosophy help us to make technology a servant rather than a master? Technology and the Good Life? uses a careful collective analysis of Albert Borgmann's controversial and influential ideas as a jumping-off point from which to address questions such as these about the role and significance of technology (...) in our lives. Contributors both sympathetic and critical examine Borgmann's work, especially his "device paradigm" apply his theories to new areas such as film, agriculture, design, and ecological restoration and consider the place of his thought within philosophy and technology studies more generally. Because this collection carefully investigates the issues at the heart of how we can take charge of life with technology, it will be a landmark work not just for philosophers of technology but for students and scholars in the many disciplines concerned with science and technology studies. (shrink)
The philosophy of deep ecology originated in the 1970s with the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess and has since spread around the world. Its basic premises are a belief in the intrinsic value of nonhuman nature, a belief that ecological principles should dictate human actions and moral evaluations, an emphasis on noninterference into natural processes, and a critique of materialism and technological progress.This book approaches deep ecology as a philosophy, not as a political, social, or environmental movement. In part I, the (...) authors compare deep ecology's philosophical ideas with other positions and debates in environmental philosophy and to other schools of thought such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and moral pluralism. In part II, they investigate the connections between deep ecology and other contemporary world views, such as continental philosophy, postmodernism, and non-Western philosophical traditions. The first anthology on deep ecology that is not primarily the work of the movement's followers, Beneath the Surface offers a rigorous assessment of deep ecology's strengths and weaknesses as a philosophical position.Contributors : John Clark, Deane Curtin, Arran Gare, William Grey, Mathew Humphrey, Knut Jacobsen, Eric Katz, Andrew Light, Jonathan Maskit, Val Plumwood, David Rothenberg, Ariel Salleh, Bron Taylor, Michael Zimmerman. (shrink)
Anthropogenic climate change poses a direct and imminent threat to the stability of modern society. Recent reports of the probable consequences of climate change paint a grim picture; they describe a world environmentally much less stable than the world to which we have become accustomed. As we begin to adapt to our changing climate, we will need to identify new sources for the stability necessary for a flourishing society. I suggest that this stability should come from the ideals of the (...) good life we seek to promote when we focus on capabilities, on the substantial freedoms humans need to flourish. These ideals serve as a stable foundation for well-being in a time of great environmental and social instability; they should serve as guides for our policies, practices and institutions. I conclude by appealing to capabilities as a means of integrating well-being into our adaptation strategies, and show how doing so may well provide a way of formulating a powerful moral justification for adaptation strategies appropriate for both the developed and the developing world. (shrink)
J. Baird Callicott has thrown down the gauntlet once again in the monism?pluralism debate in environmental ethics. In a recent article he argues that his ?communitarianism? (combined with a limited intertheoretic pluralism) is sufficient to get the advantages of pluralism advocated by his critics, while at the same time retaining the framework of moral monism. Callicott's attempt to set the record straight on the monism?pluralism debate has once again derailed us from answering the most important question in this discussion: how (...) do we achieve a compatibilism among ethical theories which will inform better environmental practices? But if Callicott got it wrong, then who is getting it right? Arne Naess, whose work has heretofore been excluded from the mainstream discussion of this issue, has all along understood the heart of the monism?pluralism question. This paper updates the current state of the monism?pluralism debate, provides an answer to Callicott's latest challenge, and advances the thesis that all involved in this argument would do well to take a look at what Naess has to say on this issue. (shrink)
Traditional justifications for state-to-state development assistance include charity, basic rights and self-interest. Except in unusual cases such as war-reparations agreements, development assistance has typically been justified for reasons such as the above, without reference to any history of injury that holds between the states. We argue that climate change entails relationships of harm that can be cited to supplement and strengthen the traditional claims for development assistance. Finally, to demonstrate the utility of this analysis, we offer a brief application of (...) our reasoning to the emerging conflict in the United Nations over the future post-2015 development agenda. (shrink)
The writings of William H. Whyte do not loom large in the literature of my field: environmental ethics, the branch of ethics devoted to consideration of whether and how there are moral reasons for protecting non-human animals and the larger natural environment. Environmental ethics is a very new field of inquiry, only found in academic philosophy departments since the early 1970s. While there is no accepted reading list of indispensable literature in environmental ethics, certainly any attempt to create such a (...) list would begin with Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and a more recent handful of senior scholars who had been writing on these topics early on, such as J. Baird Callicott, Val Plumwood, Peter Singer, Richard Sylvan, Tom Regan, and Holmes Rolston III (for a review of contemporary environmental ethics, see Light 2002, Palmer 2003, and Wenz 2001). (shrink)
Robert Elliot's 1982 “Faking Nature,” represents one of the strongest philosophical rejections of the ground of restoration ecology ever offered.1 Here, and in a succession of papers defending the original essay, Elliot argued that ecological restoration, the practice of restoring damaged ecosystems, was akin to art forgery. Just as a copied art work could not reproduce the value of the original, restored nature could not reproduce the value of original nature, conceived as a form of nonanthropocentric and intrinsic, as opposed (...) to merely instrumental, value.2 Eric Katz's 1992 “The Big Lie: Human Restoration of Nature,” extended this claim by further arguing that whatever was produced in a restored landscape it certainly could not count as having the original value of nature, particularly wild nature, and necessarily represented a form of disvalue and domination of nature.3 Elliot has continued to press his argument forward since the original publication of “Faking Nature,” augmenting and some would say softening his critique of restoration, in a book also called Faking Nature.4 Perhaps because both Elliot and Katz rest their claims on the defense of a strong nature-culture distinction, the two arguments are often lumped together as the Elliot-Katz rejection of the value of ecological restoration. Nonetheless, Elliot has made it clear in his recent book that his view is distinct from and even at odds with Katz’s views. In previous papers I have criticized Elliot and Katz’s work as an unhelpful philosophical contribution to the literature on restoration ecology. To my mind, restorationists are ultimately up to more good than harm, and whatever the.. (shrink)
Environmental Ethics: An Anthology brings together both classic and cutting-edge essays which have formed contemporary environmental ethics, ranging from the welfare of animals versus ecosystems to theories of the intrinsic value of nature.
The inaugural collection in an exciting new exchange between philosophers and geographers, this volume provides interdisciplinary approaches to the environment as space, place, and idea. Never before have philosophers and geographers approached each other's subjects in such a strong spirit of mutual understanding. The result is a concrete exploration of the human-nature relationship that embraces strong normative approaches to environmental problems.
In Democracy and the Claims of Nature, the leading thinkers in the fields of environmental, political, and social theory come together to discuss the tensions and sympathies of democratic ideals and environmental values. The prominent contributors reflect upon where we stand in our understanding of the relationship between democracy and the claims of nature. Democracy and the Claims of Nature bridges the gap between the often competing ideals of the two fields, leading to a greater understanding of each for the (...) other. (shrink)
Is environmentalism a form of identity politics like feminism, race‐based politics, and other political orientations at the core of the new social movements? It is argued that it can be, but that this claim to political identity has so far only been clearly available to a narrow set of environmentalists, notably deep ecologists and essentialist ecofeminists. But if it is plausible that broader forms of environmentalism can represent a political identity, then political objections to the content of environmentalism become much (...) more salient than they might at first appear. If environmentalists decide to articulate their environmentalism as a kind of ‘ecological identity’, then this identity will encounter serious hurdles that deserve attention. (shrink)
_The Routledge Companion to Environmental Ethics_ is comprised of sixty original essays, which focus on how ethical questions intersect with real and pressing policy issues. Rather than overviewing abstract conceptual categories, the authors focus on specific controversies involving the environment. Clearly written contributions on Fossil Fuels, Urban Sustainability, Novel Ecosystems, and many other subjects make accessible these issues‘ empirical and political dimensions as well as their theoretical underpinnings. Written to be accessible for undergraduates and general readers, but comprehensive enough to (...) be a useful reference work for researchers in a variety of related fields, it promises to be an invaluable resource for better understanding the ethical landscape of our environmental world. (shrink)
T. C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth (2001), tells the story of Tyrone Tierwater, a one time monkeywrencher and environmental avenger for “E. F.!” (Earth Forever!) who we first meet in 2025 in his mid-seventies. Tierwater is now working for a character based on Michael Jackson, who in his semi-retirement has employed the elder eco-warrior to help save some of the last remnants of a few dying species – warthogs, peccaries, hyenas, jackals, lions and what is likely the last (...) Patagoninan fox. The not too distant environmental future painted by Boyle is a disaster. Global warming has finally caught up to us with a vengeance and even the secure shores of the U.S. are wracked by unmitigated cycles of flooding and drought seriously degrading most semblances of life as we know it. To be sure, though, people, and some versions of progress, go on. While most affordable food and drink is limited to some combination of catfish and sake (very little else having survived decades of disastrous weather and a series of crop blights), and there are constant threats of new strains of life-threatening and highly contagious diseases, suburban development continues and new humans come into existence with the promise, at least in the developed world, of longer life spans. But Boyle does not give us anything like the overly optimistic views expressed by some conservative columnists who dismiss the need for global climate treaties; this is not an environmental future that is only felt with difficulty in the underdeveloped south requiring simpler economic readjustments for Americans without a substantial shift in lifestyle. The world.. (shrink)
The collection of papers that comprise this thesis explore three sets of questions important to environmental philosophy, broadly construed. All three topics are explored through the theoretical device of environmental pragmatism, the argument that philosophical disagreements on environmental questions can sometimes be set aside in order to achieve compatible strategies to work toward improving environmental conditions. As part of this strategy, pragmatists also call for the abandonment of the existing prejudices of environmental philosophy, in particular nonanthropocentrism and commitments to moral (...) monism. Part I of the thesis looks at two sets of debates in environmental philosophy: the social ecology-deep ecology divide in political ecology, and the debate between monists and pluralists in environmental ethics. Both debates are used as a vehicle to advance the pragmatist position, as well as demonstrate the connection between this thesis and other attempts to articulate a workable form of pluralism in environmental philosophy. Next, the first half of Part II uses the pragmatist premise to launch applied investigations of two environmental questions: the privatization of environmental regulations, and the political appropriation of restoration ecology. The second half of Part II explores questions concerning urban space and political identity, which come to the center of environmental philosophy following a pragmatist assault on its existing prejudices. Finally, Part III continues the themes of the last half of Part II to look at issues concerning technology and built space, topics which have traditionally been ignored by environmental philosophers. These final chapters present a set of issues concerning space and place which must be integral to an environmental philosophy which has been tempered by pragmatic concerns. (shrink)