Environmental PhilosophyFrom Theory to Practice
The first comprehensive treatment of environmental philosophy, going beyond ethics to address the philosophical concepts that underlie environmental thinking and policy-making today Encompasses all of environmental philosophy, including conservation biology, restoration ecology, sustainability, environmental justice, and more Offers the first treatment of decision theory in an environmental philosophy text Explores the conceptions of nature and ethical presuppositions that underlie contemporary environmental debates, and, moving from theory to practice, shows how decision theory translates to public policy Addresses both hot-button issues, including population and immigration reform, and such ongoing issues as historical legacies and nations' responsibility and obligation for environmental problems Anchors philosophical concepts to their practical applications, establishing the priority of the discipline's real-world importance
Acknowledgments ix List of Acronyms xi 1 Introduction 1 2 What Is the Environment? 13 3 Ethics for the Environment 38 4 From Ethics to Policy 65 5 Biodiversity and Conservation 98 6 Environmental Restoration 130 7 Sustainability 157 8 Justice and Equity 174 9 Where Does This Leave Us? 196 Glossary 202 References 204 Index 219
Sahotra Sarkar specializes in the history and philosophy of science and conservation biology; he helped develop the framework for systematic conservation planning for the protection of biodiversity (as co-author, with Chris Margules, of Systematic Conservation Planning). He also co-edited The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia and A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. He is the author of Doubting Darwin?: Creationist Designs on Evolution (Blackwell), Genetics and Reductionism, Molecular Models of Life, and Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy. He is a professor of Philosophy and Integrative Biology at the University of Texas at Austin.
How do we distinguish legitimate environmental problems from those that are not genuine? What should we be concerned with saving-is it humanity's future alone that we should work toward? What of other species, ecosystems, and the natural physical features of Earth? Do we have responsibilities to animals? To future generations that will be affected by climate change? Environmental philosophy is a multidisciplinary endeavor that engages with theoretical concepts of both traditional philosophy and the wide variety of interrelated environmental sciences. Environmental impacts and the path forward are also critical issues in the real world, so equally important is the practical application of theory into policy. In this comprehensive guide, environmental theorist Sahotra Sarkar delves into our thinking around these issues, covering ethics, decision theory, conservation biology, restoration ecology, sustainability, and more. He addresses current topics in the politics of environmentalism, examining the claims of ecofeminism, social ecology, and the environmental justice movements. This guide constitutes the first comprehensive treatment of environmental philosophy, going beyond ethics to address the philosophical concepts that underlie environmental thinking and policy-making today.
Sarkar deftly weaves the humanities and ecological science into a convincing argument that environmental conservation and management are social, economic and political, and thus philosophical and cultural, problems as much as they are ecological and biological ones; maybe even more so. Not only students of philosophy should read this book but also conservation biologists. It will enlighten them. Chris Margules AM, Conservation International
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