Synopses & Reviews
Environmental ethics is a relatively new philosophical discipline that addresses the complex convergence of humans with the natural world and its nonhuman inhabitants. Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions
presents a series of interdisciplinary readings that examine the moral dimensions of the delicate relationship between human beings and the environment. Carefully chosen selections drawn from philosophy, the social and life sciences, economics, history, legal studies, business, and literature are organized clearly around the history of anthropocentric (human-centered) and nonanthropocentric origins of environmental ethics. The readings serve as an investigation of the proper scope of moral considerations relating to the environment – one that includes humans, animals, living things, ecosystems, and the built environment. Other topics include political approaches to environmental ethics, the importance of ecological science, and contemporary public policy issues such as agriculture, sustainability, population, globalization, and injustice. Readers are also directed to an online archive of continually updated international case studies that serve to complement and explicate the theoretical discussions outlined in the text.
Thought provoking and timely, Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions offers illuminating insights into an issue that is becoming more critical each year.
To view a growing archive of environmental ethics case studies, please visit: http://environmentalethics.info/.
"Environmental ethics emerged in the mid-1970s and has been exponentially growing in volume and scope ever since. As a new century and a new millennium dawn, environmental ethics is the philosophy of the future, looking outward to partner with social and life sciences, history, law, business, and literature to provide synthesis instead of the finer and finer analysis of arcane "puzzles" that characterized the inward-looking philosophy of the previous century.
In the new spirit of the new philosophy of the new century, this new textbook provides a synoptic overview of the field. The pioneers, living and dead, are all represented along with the emerging voices of the present. Unique to this volume is commentary by the leading lights in the field about why environmental ethics is a worthwhile study. That section, along with Keller's historical and thematic overview of the field, the best yet in any textbook, is worth the price of admission to the book."
—J Baird Callicott, Regents Professor of Philosophy, Chair, Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of North of Texas
"The major strength of the book is the fact that it evolved from a classroom course on environmental ethics. The different texts are selected, put together and introduced by an experienced teacher. As such, the selection of text has already proven successful and instructive. The editor has put an enormous amount of effort into selecting the right texts, which took him, according to the preface, over four years." (Ethical Perspectives, 2011)
“Overall, Environmental Ethics: the big questions is an essential text for anyone looking to get to grips with key thinkers and their contributions to this new and burgeoning domain of ethics. Whilst challenging at times, the variety of papers in terms of both inter-disciplinary and difficulty is wide, allowing readers to effectively engage irrespective of background. Further, the layout is clear and general binding and page quality high to ensure this can remain an indispensable reference text for the future.” (The Guardian
, 26 November 2013)
Featured in The Guardian - 26 November 2013
“Overall, Environmental Ethics: the big questionsis an essential text for anyone looking to get to grips with key thinkers and their contributions to this new and burgeoning domain of ethics. Whilst challenging at times, the variety of papers in terms of both inter-disciplinary and difficulty is wide, allowing readers to effectively engage irrespective of background. Further, the layout is clear and general binding and page quality high to ensure this can remain an indispensable reference text for many years to come.” (Economics & Philosophy, 1 November 2013)"The major strength of the book is the fact that it evolved from a classroom course on environmental ethics. The different texts are selected, put together and introduced by an experienced teacher. As such, the selection of text has already proven successful and instructive. The editor has put an enormous amount of effort into selecting the right texts, which took him, according to the preface, over four years." (Ethical Perspectives, 2011)
Through a series of multidisciplinary readings, Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions
contextualizes environmental ethics within the history of Western intellectual tradition and traces the development of theory since the 1970s.
About the Author
David R. Keller is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University. He is co-editor of The Philosophy of Ecology: From Science to Synthesis (with Frank Golley, 2000), and co-author of Ethics in Action (with Peggy Connolly, Becky Cox-White, and Martin G. Leever, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), a case-based approach to introducing ethics and environmental issues.
Table of Contents
Part I. Preface.
Part II. What is the Proper Suject-Matter of Moral Philosophy? A Brief Overview of Environmental Ethics: David Keller.
Part III. Why Study Environmental Ethics?.
Part IV. WHAT IS ANTHROPOCENTRISM?.
2. Humans as Moral Ends: Saint Thomas Aquinas from Summa Contra Gentiles.
3. The Mastery of Nature: Francis Bacon from The Great Instauration.
4. Nonhumans as Machines: Rene Descartes from Discourse on the Method.
5. The Amoral Status of Nature: John Stuart Mill from “Nature”.
6. Nature as Economic Resource: John Locke from “Of Property”.
7. Indirect Duties to Nonhumans: Immanuel Kant from Lectures on Ethics.
8. Mechanistic Metaphysics: Isaac Newton from Opticks.
9. In Defense of Anthropocentrism: Wilfred Beckerman and Joanna Pasek from Justice, Posterity, and the Environment.
Part V. WHAT IS NONANTHROPOCENTRISM?.
11. Walking: Henry David Thoreau from Excursions.
12. The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West: John Muir from Our National Parks and The Yosemite.
13. Is There a Need for a New, an Environmental, Ethic?: Richard Routley from Proceedings of teh XVth World Congress of Philosophy.
14. Attitudes to Nature: John Passmore from Nature and Conduct.
15. Should Trees Have Standing?: Christopher D. Stone from the Southern California Law Review Vol. 45.
16. The Varieties of Intrinsic Value: John O'Neill from The Monist Vol. 75.
17. Value in Nature and the Nature of Value: Holmes Rolston.
18. The End of Anthropocentrism?: Mary Midgley from Philosophy and the Natural Environment.
19. Is the Crown of Creation a Dunce Cap?: Chip Ward.
Part VI. WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF MORAL CONSIDERABILITY?.
21. All Animals are Equal: Peter Singer from Philosophical Exchange vol. 1.
22. The Case for Animal Rights: Tom Reagan from In Defense of Animals and “Animal Rights, Human Wrongs”.
23. On Being Morally Considerable: Kenneth E. Goodpaster from The Journal of Philosophy.
24. The Ethics of Respect for Nature: Paul W. Taylor from Environmental Ethics vol. 3.
25. The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement: Arne Naess from Inquiry vol. 16.
26. The Heart of Deep Ecology: Tom McLaughlin from Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century.
27. The Deep Ecology Movement: Arne Naess from Philisophical Inquiry vol. VIII.
28. Transpersonal Ecology as a Distinctive Approach to Ecophilosophy: Warwick Fox from Toward a Transpersonal Ecology.
29. The Land Ethic: Aldo Leopold from A Sand County Almanac.
30. Conceptual Foundations of the Land Ethic: J. Baird Callicott from In Defense of the Land Ethic.
31. Gaia As Seen Through the Atmosphere: James Lovelock from Atmospheric Environment vol. 6.
32. Kantians and Utilitarians and the Moral Status of Nonhuman Life: James P. Sterba from The Triumph of Practice Over Theory in Ethics.
33. Persons in Nature: Frederick Ferré from Ethics in teh Environment vol. 1.
34. General Ethics: Fox from Developing a General Ethics: An Introduction to the Theory of Responsive Cohesion Part VII. WHAT ARE PROMINENT ALTERNATIVES TO GROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS IN MORAL EXTENSIONISM?.
36. What is Social Ecology?: Murray Bookchin from Environmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to Radical Ecology.
37. Socialism and Ecology: James O'Connor from Capitalism, Nature, Socialism vol. 2.
38. The Power and Promise of Ecological Feminism: Karen J. Warren from Environmental Ethics vol. 12.
39. Ecofeminism and Feminist Theory: Carolyn Merchant from Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism and Feminism and the Philosophy of Nature: Carolyn Merchant from The Death of Nature.
40. Nature, Self, and Gender: A Critique of Rationalism: Val Plumwood from Hypatia vol. 6.
41. Environmental Virtue Ethics: Sandler from Environmental Virtue Ethics.
42. Continental Environmental Ethics: Vogel, “Nature as Origin and Difference”.
43. Beyond Intrinsic Value: Pragmatism in Environmental Ethics: Anthony Weston from Environmental Ethics vol. 7.
44. The Case For a Practical Pluralism: Andrew Light from Environmental Ethics.
45. Earth First!: David Foreman The Progressive vol. 45.
46. The Ethics of Ecological Sabotage: An Exchange from Environmental vol. 4.
a. “Ecological Sabotage: Pranks or Terrorism?”: Hargrove.
b. “Earth First! and the Monkey Wrench Gang”: Edward Abbey.
c. “More on Earth First! and The Monkey Wrench Gang”: David Foreman.
d. Response: Hargrove.
Part VIII. WHAT ARE THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN NATURE, CULTURE, SUBJECTIVITY, TECHNOLOGY, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS?.
48. Subjectivist Environmental Ethics: Elliot from Meta-Ethics and Environmental Ethics.
49. How to Construe Nature: Roger J. H. King from Between the Species.
50. The Trouble with Wilderness: William Cronon.
51. Ecological Realism: Shepard from “Virtually Hunting Reality in the Forests of Simulacra”.
52. Environmental Ethics and the Philosophy of Technology: Rothenberg from Hand’s End.
Part IX. WHAT IS THE USE OF ECOLOGICAL SCIENCE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS?.
54. Ecology—A Subversive