Beyond Environmentalism: A Philosophy of Nature

Beyond Environmentalism: A Philosophy of Nature

Author(s): Jeffrey E. Foss

Published Online: 29 MAY 2008

Print ISBN: 9780470179413

Online ISBN: 9780470413708

DOI: 10.1002/9780470413708

About this Book

This one-of-a-kind book provides thoughtful insight into the current relationship between humankind and the environment

Beyond Environmentalism is the first book of its kind to present a timely and relevant analysis of environmentalism. The author's decades of experience as a philosopher of science allow him to critically comprehend scientific issues and to develop and explain sound, ethical policies in response to them. The result is a volume that builds a philosophy of nature and helps the reader assess humankind's relationship with and impact on the world around us.

This innovative book discusses the inconsistencies, both scientific and philosophical, of popular environmentalism and sheds new perspectives on the issues, causes, and debates that embrace society today. The goal is not to settle environmental issues once and for all, but rather to provide the basis for more reasoned, scientific, and productive debates. The need for a new philosophy of nature is explored through methodological discussion of several topics, including:

  • The rise and fall of scientific proof

  • Nature in religion, romance, and human values

  • Humankind's responsibility to the environment

  • The value of freedom

  • Kinship among species

Numerous case studies throughout the book delve into global warming, the "sixth extinction," the precautionary principle, pollution, and other popular issues within environmentalism. Feature boxes guide the reader through complex topics such as eco-sabotage, the Gaia hypothesis, and the urban heat-island effect, while vivid illustrations demonstrate scientific data, theories, and philosophical arguments in a reader-friendly manner.

With its balanced approach to provocative issues, Beyond Environmentalism serves as an excellent, thought-provoking supplement for courses on environmental studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is also an interesting and accessible read for anyone with a general interest in environmental issues.

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