The Greeks and the Environment

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Overview

Environmental ethicists have frequently criticized ancient Greek philosophy as anti-environmental for a view of philosophy that is counterproductive to environmental ethics and a view of the world that puts nature at the disposal of people. This provocative collection of original essays reexamines the views of nature and ecology found in the thought of Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and Plotinus. Recognizing that these thinkers were not confronted with the environmental degradation that threatens contemporary philosophers, the contributors to this book find that the Greeks nevertheless provide an excellent foundation for a sound theory of environmentalism.
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Editorial Reviews

Humanities - M. Eleanor Irwin
Raises many questions which should engage and challenge anyone concerned with the environment.
Religious Studies Review - Robert L. Grant
...a helpful introductory discussion of Greek philosophy aned environmentalism... the conclusions are both interesting and useful for those who teach environmental ethics courses or any philosophy course that seeks to apply the ancients to contemporary issues. Their assiduous attention produces a remarkably compelling, if complex, argument for the relevance of Greek philosophy to contemporary ethical concerns.
Environmental Politics - Eric LaFerrière
. . . concise and absorbing . . .
William Stiebing Jr.
[Westra and Robinson] provide a an excellent analysis of the views of nature and ecology in the works of the ancient Greek philosophers, and they succeed in their purpose of showing these writings to modern enviornmentalism.
Humanities
Raises many questions which should engage and challenge anyone concerned with the environment.
— M. Eleanor Irwin
Religious Studies Review
...a helpful introductory discussion of Greek philosophy aned environmentalism... the conclusions are both interesting and useful for those who teach environmental ethics courses or any philosophy course that seeks to apply the ancients to contemporary issues. Their assiduous attention produces a remarkably compelling, if complex, argument for the relevance of Greek philosophy to contemporary ethical concerns.
— Robert L. Grant, St. Ambrose University
Environmental Politics
. . . concise and absorbing . . .
— Eric LaFerrière, John Abbott College
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847684465
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Westra is professor emerita of philosophy at the University of Windsor and the author or editor of numerous books, including An Environmental Proposal for Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 1994), Faces of Environmental Racism (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995), Perspectives on Ecological Integrity (Kluwer), The Greeks and the Environment (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997) and Technology and Values (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998). Bill Lawson is professor of philosophy at Michigan State University. Thomas M. Robinson is professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and the author of Plato's Psychology and The Greek Legacy.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Foreword Part 2 Part I: Overview Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 Some Ancient Ecological Myths and Metaphors Chapter 5 Why Greek Philosophers Might Have Been Concerned about the Environment Chapter 6 The Philosophical Genesis of Ecology and Environmentalism Part 7 Part II: Plato Chapter 8 Platonic Ecology Chapter 9 Environmental Ethics in Plato's Timaeus Chapter 10 The Ecology of the Critias and Platonic metaphysics Part 11 Part III: Aristotle Chapter 12 Aristotelian Roots of Ecology: Causality, Complex Systems Theory, and Integrity Chapter 13 The Greening of Aristotle Chapter 14 Self-Love and the Virtue of Species Preservation in Aristotle Chapter 15 The Organic Unity of Aristotle's World Part 16 Part IV: Greek Philosophy After Aristotle Chapter 17 Fortitude and Tragedy: The Prospects for a Stoic Environmentalism Chapter 18 Plotinus as Environmentalist? Chapter 19 Notes Chapter 20 Index
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