Synopses & Reviews
What right do humans have to claim sovereignty over the land, to build fences and set boundaries when nature itself recognizes no such boundaries? Is there hope for a new land ethic that is less destructive toward the land, that views nature as something to be valued and nurtured rather than exploited and "developed"?One of the main challenges of contemporary environmentalism is to find a lasting, more ethical way for people to live on the planet. In "Bounded People, Boundless Lands," legal scholar Eric T. Freyfogle asks a series of pointed and challenging questions about the human quest for ecological harmony. Deftly interweaving moral and ethical considerations with case studies and real-life situations, Freyfogle provides a deep philosophical examination of personal responsibility and the dominion of human beings over the earth. He raises provocative questions about private property rights, responsible land ownership, the rights of wildlife, and ecological health. Although the questions that Freyfogle asks are not new, they are presented in the context of contemporary events, often connected to legal cases, which allows him to bring age-old issues up to date, and to make direct connections between abstract concepts and our own lives.Throughout, Freyfogle questions the way human beings envision the land, thinking they can claim nature as their own, and criticizes market approaches to valuing and using nature. As an introduction to land ethics, but one that embraces environmental, legal, and philosophical arguments, "Bounded People, Boundless Lands" is a unique contribution to the environmental literature.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -196) and index.
About the Author
Eric T. Freyfogle is Max L. Rowe Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is also director of the Illinois Environmental Council, and author of Justice and the Earth (The Free Press, 1993).
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Bounding the Land
Chapter 2: Taking New Bearings
Chapter 3: Setting a Course
Chapter 4: Grappling with Individualism
Chapter 5: Mat Feltner's World
Chapter 6: Private Property and the
Chapter 7: Staying Home
Chapter 8: Gaining Wisdom from the Prairie
Chapter 9: Promoting Land Health
Coda: Toward a Shared Land Ethic
Sources, Acknowledgments, and Further Reading