Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions / Edition 1

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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.

  • Includes an extended introduction that provides an historical and thematic introduction to the field of environmental ethics
  • Features a selection of brief original essays on why to study environmental ethics by leaders in the field
  • Contextualizes environmental ethics within the history of the Western intellectual tradition by exploring anthropocentric (human-centered) and nonanthropocentric precedents
  • Offers an interdisciplinary approach to the field by featuring seminal work from eminent philosophers, biologists, ecologists, historians, economists, sociologists, anthropologists, nature writers, business writers, and others
  • Designed to be used with a web-site which contains a continuously updated archive of case studies:


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Overall, Environmental Ethics: the big questions is anessential text for anyone looking to get to grips with key thinkersand their contributions to this new and burgeoning domain ofethics. Whilst challenging at times, the variety of papers in termsof both inter-disciplinary and difficulty is wide, allowing readersto effectively engage irrespective of background. Further, thelayout is clear and general binding and page quality high to ensurethis can remain an indispensable reference text for thefuture.”  (The Guardian, 26 November 2013)

Featured in TheGuardian - 26 November 2013

“Overall, Environmental Ethics: the big questionsis anessential text for anyone looking to get to grips with key thinkersand their contributions to this new and burgeoning domain ofethics. Whilst challenging at times, the variety of papers in termsof both inter-disciplinary and difficulty is wide, allowing readersto effectively engage irrespective of background. Further, thelayout is clear and general binding and page quality high to ensurethis can remain an indispensable reference text for many years tocome.”  (Economics & Philosophy, 1November 2013)

"The major strength of the book is the fact that it evolved from aclassroom course on environmental ethics. The different texts areselected, put together and introduced by an experienced teacher. Assuch, the selection of text has already proven successful andinstructive. The editor has put an enormous amount of effort intoselecting the right texts, which took him, according to thepreface, over four years." (Ethical Perspectives, 2011)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405176385
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/22/2010
  • Series: Philosophy: The Big Questions Series , #5
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 600
  • Sales rank: 251,209
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Preface.

Part II. What is the Proper Suject-Matter of MoralPhilosophy? A Brief Overview of Environmental Ethics: DavidKeller.

Part III. Why Study Environmental Ethics?.

Essays by:.

Emily Brady.

Isis Brook.

Baird Callicott.

Victoria Davion.

Frederick Ferré.

Warwick Fox.

Greta Gaard.

John Granrose.

Gene Hargrove.

Andrew Light.

Bryan Norton.

Clare Palmer.

Holmes Rolston.

David Rothenberg.

Mark Sagoff.

George Sessions.

Peter Singer.

Ian Smith.

James Sterba.

Karen Warren.

Michael Zimmerman.


1. Introduction.

2. Humans as Moral Ends: Saint Thomas Aquinas from SummaContra Gentiles.

3. The Mastery of Nature: Francis Bacon from The GreatInstauration.

4. Nonhumans as Machines: Rene Descartes from Discourse onthe Method.

5. The Amoral Status of Nature: John Stuart Mill from“Nature”.

6. Nature as Economic Resource: John Locke from “OfProperty”.

7. Indirect Duties to Nonhumans: Immanuel Kant from Lectureson Ethics.

8. Mechanistic Metaphysics: Isaac NewtonfromOpticks.

9. In Defense of Anthropocentrism: Wilfred Beckerman and JoannaPasek from Justice, Posterity, and the Environment.


10. Introduction.

11. Walking: Henry David Thoreau from Excursions.

12. The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West: JohnMuir from Our National Parks and The Yosemite.

13. Is There a Need for a New, an Environmental, Ethic?: RichardRoutley from Proceedings of teh XVth World Congress ofPhilosophy.

14. Attitudes to Nature: John Passmore from Nature andConduct.

15. Should Trees Have Standing?: Christopher D. Stone from theSouthern California Law Review Vol. 45.

16. The Varieties of Intrinsic Value: John O'Neill from TheMonist Vol. 75.

17. Value in Nature and the Nature of Value: Holmes Rolston.

18. The End of Anthropocentrism?: Mary Midgley fromPhilosophy and the Natural Environment.

19. Is the Crown of Creation a Dunce Cap?: Chip Ward.


20. Introduction.

21. All Animals are Equal: Peter Singer from PhilosophicalExchange vol. 1.

22. The Case for Animal Rights: Tom Reagan from In Defense ofAnimals and “Animal Rights, Human Wrongs”.

23. On Being Morally Considerable: Kenneth E. Goodpaster fromThe Journal of Philosophy.

24. The Ethics of Respect for Nature: Paul W. Taylor fromEnvironmental Ethics vol. 3.

25. The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement: ArneNaess from Inquiry vol. 16.

26. The Heart of Deep Ecology: Tom McLaughlin from DeepEcology for the Twenty-First Century.

27. The Deep Ecology Movement: Arne Naess from PhilisophicalInquiry vol. VIII.

28. Transpersonal Ecology as a Distinctive Approach toEcophilosophy: Warwick Fox from Toward a TranspersonalEcology.

29. The Land Ethic: Aldo Leopold from A Sand CountyAlmanac.

30. Conceptual Foundations of the Land Ethic: J. Baird Callicottfrom In Defense of the Land Ethic.

31. Gaia As Seen Through the Atmosphere: James Lovelock fromAtmospheric Environment vol. 6.

32. Kantians and Utilitarians and the Moral Status of NonhumanLife: James P. Sterba from The Triumph of Practice Over Theoryin Ethics.

33. Persons in Nature: Frederick Ferré from Ethics inteh Environment vol. 1.

34. General Ethics: Fox from Developing a General Ethics: AnIntroduction to the Theory of Responsive Cohesion Part VII.WHAT ARE PROMINENT ALTERNATIVES TO GROUNDING ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICSIN MORAL EXTENSIONISM?.

35. Introduction.

36. What is Social Ecology?: Murray Bookchin fromEnvironmental Philosophy: From Animal Rights to RadicalEcology.

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 fromReweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism andFeminism and the Philosophy of Nature: Carolyn Merchant from TheDeath of Nature.

40. Nature, Self, and Gender: A Critique of Rationalism: ValPlumwood from Hypatia vol. 6.

41. Environmental Virtue Ethics: Sandler from EnvironmentalVirtue Ethics.

42. Continental Environmental Ethics: Vogel, “Nature asOrigin 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 fromEnvironmental Ethics.

45. Earth First!: David Foreman The Progressive vol.45.

46. The Ethics of Ecological Sabotage: An Exchange fromEnvironmental vol. 4.

a. “Ecological Sabotage: Pranks or Terrorism?”:Hargrove.

b. “Earth First! and the Monkey Wrench Gang”: EdwardAbbey.

c. “More on Earth First! and The Monkey WrenchGang”: David Foreman.

d. Response: Hargrove.


47. Introduction.

48. Subjectivist Environmental Ethics: Elliot fromMeta-Ethics and Environmental Ethics.

49. How to Construe Nature: Roger J. H. King from Between theSpecies.

50. The Trouble with Wilderness: William Cronon.

51. Ecological Realism: Shepard from “Virtually HuntingReality in the Forests of Simulacra”.

52. Environmental Ethics and the Philosophy of Technology:Rothenberg from Hand’s End.


53. Introduction.

54. Ecology—A Subversive Subject: Paul B. Sears.

55. What is Conservation Biology?: Michael E. Soulé fromBioScience vol. 35.

56. Environmental Ethics and Ecological Science: Mark Sagofffrom Environmental Ethics and International Policy.

57. The Metaphysical Implications of Ecology: J. Baird Callicottfrom Environmental Ethics vol. 7.

58. The Ends of the World as We Know Them: Jared Diamond fromThe New York Times.


A. Introduction.

59. An Essay on the Principle of Population: Thomas Malthus.

60. The Tragedy of the Commons: Garrett Hardin from Sciencevol. 162 and Ethical Implications of Carrying Capacity: GarrettHardin from Managing the Commons and The Immorality of BeingSofthearted: Garrett Hardin from The Relevant Scientist.

61. Impact of Population Growth: Paul R. Ehrlich and John P.Holdren from Science vol. 171.

62. How Poverty Breeds Overpopulation: Barry Commoner fromRamparts vol. 13.

63. More People, Greater Wealth, More Resources, HealthierEnvironment: Julian L. Simon from Economic Affairs.

64. Population: Delusion and Reality: Amartya Sen from TheNew York Review of Books.

65. A Special Moment in History: The Future of Population: BillMcKibben from The Atlantic Monthly.

66. Nature as the Measure for a Sustainable Agriculture: WesJackson from Ecology, Economics, Ethics- The BrokenCircle.

67. Putting Food Production in Context: Toward a PostmechanisticAgricultural Ethic: David R. Keller and E. Charles Brummer fromBioScience vol. 52.

68. Environmental Justice for All: Robert D. Bullard fromUnequal Protection.

69. Just Garbage: Peter S. Wenz from Faces of EnvironmentalRacism.

70. A Declaration of Sustainability: Paul Hawken from theUTNE Reader.

71. Steady-State Economy: Herman E. Daly from Valuing theEarth.

72. The Triple-Bottom Line: John Elkington from Cannibalswith Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of the 21st CenturyBusiness.

73. The Ignorance Argument: Bryan Norton from Economics,Ethics, and Environmental Policy.

74. Environmental Justice and Intergenerational Debt: Clark Wolffrom Blackwell Companion to Environmental Philosophy.

75. The Environmental Limits to Globalization: David Ehrenfeldfrom Conservation Biology vol. 19.


76. The Future of Environmental Ethics: Holmes Rolston III.



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