Skeptical Environmentalism

Overview

Skeptical Environmentalism is Robert Joseph Kirkman's critical overview of the speculative tendencies of academic environmental philosophy. Drawn in part from sources in the history of philosophy and the history and philosophy of the natural sciences, the argument concludes with a reconception of environmental problems, and of the proper roles of philosophy and the natural sciences in addressing them.
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Overview

Skeptical Environmentalism is Robert Joseph Kirkman's critical overview of the speculative tendencies of academic environmental philosophy. Drawn in part from sources in the history of philosophy and the history and philosophy of the natural sciences, the argument concludes with a reconception of environmental problems, and of the proper roles of philosophy and the natural sciences in addressing them.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice

"Unlike many environmental philosophy books, which are not easily accessible to lay people, this one is. It is engagingly written, and the philosophical arguments are laid out clearly and crisply. Kirkman addresses the basic question, Can philosophical understanding of the natural world contribute in a practical way to the public's discourse about environmental issues? He claims that it can and must.... A very useful primer about skeptical environmentalism. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through graduate students; two-year technical program students." —Choice, September 2002

P. R. Pinet

In this small book, Kirkman (Michigan State Univ.) struggles to reconcile his philosophical skepticism with his environmental ideals. Unlike many environmental philosophy books, which are not easily accessible to lay people, this one is. It is engagingly written, and the philosophical arguments are laid out clearly and crisply. Kirkman addresses the basic question, Can philosophical understanding of the natural world contribute in a practical way to the public's discourse about environmental issues? He claims that it can and must. Part 1, Knowledge, consists of two chapters: The Nature of Nature and Organism and Mechanism. Part 2, Obligation, has two chapters as well: A Place on Earth and The Moral Compass. The final part 3, Hope, contains a single chapter, Environmentalism without Illusions. Kirkman's coverage of philosophies that bear on environmentalism is necessarily brief and to the point. The bibliography contains more than 170 pertinent citations, including references to recent and classical papers and books. A very useful primer about skeptical environmentalism. General readers; lower—division undergraduates through graduate students; two—year technical program students.P. R. Pinet, Colgate University, 2002sep CHOICE

From the Publisher
"Unlike many environmental philosophy books, which are not easily accessible to lay people, this one is. It is engagingly written, and the philosophical arguments are laid out clearly and crisply. Kirkman addresses the basic question, Can philosophical understanding of the natural world contribute in a practical way to the public's discourse about environmental issues? He claims that it can and must.... A very useful primer about skeptical environmentalism. General readers;
lower-division undergraduates through graduate students; two-year technical program students." —Choice, September 2002

In this small book, Kirkman (Michigan State Univ.) struggles to reconcile his philosophical skepticism with his environmental ideals. Unlike many environmental philosophy books,
which are not easily accessible to lay people, this one is. It is engagingly written, and the philosophical arguments are laid out clearly and crisply. Kirkman addresses the basic question, Can philosophical understanding of the natural world contribute in a practical way to the public's discourse about environmental issues? He claims that it can and must. Part 1, Knowledge, consists of two chapters: The Nature of Nature and Organism and Mechanism. Part 2, Obligation, has two chapters as well: A Place on Earth and The Moral Compass. The final part 3, Hope, contains a single chapter,
Environmentalism without Illusions. Kirkman's coverage of philosophies that bear on environmentalism is necessarily brief and to the point. The bibliography contains more than 170 pertinent citations,
including references to recent and classical papers and books. A very useful primer about skeptical environmentalism. General readers; lower—division undergraduates through graduate students;
two—year technical program students.P. R. Pinet, Colgate University, 2002sep CHOICE

Choice

"Unlike many environmental philosophy books, which are not easily accessible to lay people, this one is. It is engagingly written, and the philosophical arguments are laid out clearly and crisply. Kirkman addresses the basic question, Can philosophical understanding of the natural world contribute in a practical way to the public's discourse about environmental issues? He claims that it can and must.... A very useful primer about skeptical environmentalism. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through graduate students; two-year technical program students." —Choice, September 2002

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253214973
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2002
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Kirkman

Robert Kirkman received his Ph.D. in philosophy from SUNY, Stony Brook. He is currently Assistant Professor of Science and Technology at the Lyman Briggs School at Michigan State
University. His research interests encompass environmental philosophy, the history and philosophy of science, the history of philosophy, and suburban environments.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Knowledge
1 The Nature of Nature 17
2 Organism and Mechanism 49
Pt. 2 Obligation
3 A Place on Earth 87
4 The Moral Compass 118
Pt. 3 Hope
5 Environmentalism without Illusions 149
Notes 183
Bibliography 193
Index 203
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