Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice / Edition 1

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What role can philosophers play in helping to resolve the moral and political dilemmas faced by environmental activists and policymakers? Moving away from environmental philosophy's usual focus on abstractions such as nonanthropocentrism and the intrinsic value of nature, this book focuses on environmental practice as the starting point for theoretical reflection.

Philosophical thinking, it argues, need not be divided into the academic and the practical. Philosophy can take a more publicly engaged approach.The authors combine a deep understanding of the environmental ethics literature with a sympathetic sociological and political examination of environmental activists and their reasoning. The book is divided into three parts: Political Theory and Environmental Practice, Philosophical Tools for Environmental Practice, and Rethinking Philosophy through Environmental Practice. Case studies are included from Canada, Denmark,India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Topics range from the specific,such as fox hunting and leaded gasoline, to the more general, such as biodiversity in India, biomedical ethics, and crop biotechnology.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"In revelatory scholarship, Minteer recovers the civic pragmatist tradition by distinguishing the voices of those like Liberty Hyde Bailey, Josiah Royce, Lewis Mumford, and Benton MacKaye who, along with better known figures such as Dewey and Leopold, brought about an American renaissance in environmental philosophy. This magnificent accomplishment in intellectual history establishes the foundations of American environmental thought in the crucial context of its wider social and political goals."—Mark Sagoff, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland

"This study gathers classical and contemporary sources into a sweeping examination of the role of politics and political theory in shaping conceptions of nature—and vice versa. Meyer achieves a balanced analysis of the strongest aspects of long-opposed philosophical approaches to the idea of nature."—Mark Sagoff,Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland

"This balanced and brilliant collection bridges environmental philosophy and environmental practice to the betterment of both."—Mark Sagoff, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262621649
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/17/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Light is Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Environmental Ethics - Whose Philosophy? Which Practice? 1
I Political Theory and Environmental Practice 29
1 Political Theory and the Environment: Nurturing a Sustainable Relationship 31
2 Intuition, Reason, and Environmental Argument 45
3 The Justice of Environmental Justice: Reconciling Equity, Recognition, and Participation in a Political Movement 77
II Philosophical Tools for Environmental Practice 107
4 Constitutional Environmental Rights: A Case for Political Analysis 109
5 Trusteeship: A Practical Option for Realizing Our Obligations to Future Generations? 131
6 Ecological Utilization Space: Operationalizing Sustainability 155
7 The Environmental Ethics Case for Crop Biotechnology: Putting Science Back into Environmental Practice 187
8 Yew Trees, Butterflies, Rotting Boots, and Washing Lines: The Importance of Narrative 219
III Rethinking Philosophy through Environmental Practice 237
9 The Role of Cases in Moral Reasoning: What Environmental Ethics Can Learn from Biomedical Ethics 239
10 Grab Bag Ethics and Policymaking for Leaded Gasoline: A Pragmatist's View 259
11 Animals, Power, and Ethics: The Case of Foxhunting 281
12 Ethics, Politics, Biodiversity: A View from the South 295
Bibliography 317
About the Contributors 345
Index 347
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