Environmental Ethics An Overview for theTwenty-First Century

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-07-14
  • Publisher: Polity Pr

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In this clear, concise, comprehensively revised and up-to-date introduction to environmental ethics, Robin Attfield guides the student through the key issues and debates in this field in ways that will also be of interest to a wide range of scholars and researchers.

The book introduces environmental problems and environmental ethics and surveys theories of the sources of the problems. Attfield also puts forward his own original contribution to the debates, advocating biocentric consequentialism among theories of normative ethics and defending objectivism in meta-ethics. The possibilities of ethical consumerism and investment are discussed, and the nature and basis of responsibilities for future generations in such areas as sustainable development are given detailed consideration. Attfield adopts an inclusive, cosmopolitan perspective in discussions of global ethics and citizenship, and illustrates his argument with a discussion of global warming, mitigation, adaptation and global justice.

The revised edition features a new chapter on climate change, new treatments of animal issues, ecofeminism, environmental aesthetics, invasion biology and virtue ethics, and new applications of the precautionary principle to fisheries, genetic engineering and synthetic biology. The glossary and bibliography have been updated to assist understanding of these themes.

The text uses a range of devices to aid understanding, such as summaries of key issues, and guides to further reading and relevant websites. It has been written particularly with a view to the needs of students taking courses in environmental ethics, and will be of interest to students and scholars of philosophy, ethics, geography, religion and environmental studies.

Author Biography

Robin Attfield is Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • List Of Abbreviations
  • Author’s Preface
  • 1. Environmental Problems And Humanity:
  • Introduction: Environmental Problems And The Global Environment
  • Local And Global Environmental Problems
  • Animal Welfarism And Environmentalism
  • Theories Of Value
  • Environmental Ethics And Its Neighbours
  • Theories Of The Genesis Of The Problems
  • Human Stewardship Of Nature
  • But Is Caring About The Environment Really Possible?
  • 2. Some Central Debates:
  • Dominion And Stewardship
  • A Recent Critique
  • The Emergence Of Environmental Ethics In The Early 1970s
  • Holism, Anthropocentrism And Biocentrism Compared
  • Biocentric Consequentialism
  • Alternative Theories
  • Meta-Ethical Debates
  • 3. Some Critiques Of Environmental Ethics:
  • Environmental Ethics, Motivation And The Good Life
  • There Is More To Ethics Than These Promising Approaches Allow
  • There Is More To Human Motivation Too
  • Can Environmental Ethics Make A Difference?
  • Can Values Contribute To Change?
  • Does A Consequentialist Environmental Ethic Have Unacceptable Implications?
  • Would Biocentric Consequentialism Preserve Enough Species?
  • 4. Taking The Future Seriously:
  • The Scope And Limits Of Future-Related Responsibilities
  • Some Bases For Future-Related Responsibilities
  • Some Grounds For Restricting Future-Related Responsibilities
  • Restricting Future-Related Responsibilities By Discounting
  • Do Human Interests And Environmental Responsibilities Converge?
  • Saving The Future From Environmental Injustice
  • Representing The Future In Present Decision-Making
  • 5. Sustainable Development, Population And Precaution:
  • The Concept Of Sustainable Development
  • Debates About Sustainable Development
  • Sustainable Development And The Debate About Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development Policies And Sustainable Development
  • Population, Neo-Malthusianism, Justice And Sustainability
  • The Precautionary Principle
  • Sustainable Development And Liberal Democracy
  • 6. The Global Community And Global Citizenship:
  • Global Citizenship And A Cosmopolitan Ethic
  • Varieties Of Global Citizenship And Cosmopolitan Ethic
  • The Common Heritage Of Humankind
  • Issues Of Global Governance
  • Global Warming: Principles For A Possible Agreement
  • Global Problems, Global Ethics And Global Decision-Making
  • 7. The Ethics of Climate Change
  • Glossary Of Key Terms
  • Bibliography

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