The most pressing problems facing humanity today — over-population, energy shortages, climate change, soil erosion, species extinctions, the risk of epidemic disease, the threat of warfare that could destroy all the hard-won gains of civilization, and even the recent fibrillations of the stock market — are all ecological or have a large ecological component. in this volume philosophers turn their attention to understanding the science of ecology and its huge implications for the human project. To get the application of ecology to policy or other practical concerns right, humanity needs a clear and disinterested philosophical understanding of ecology which can help identify the practical lessons of science. Conversely, the urgent practical demands humanity faces today cannot help but direct scientific and philosophical investigation toward the basis of those ecological challenges that threaten human survival. This book will help to fuel the timely renaissance of interest in philosophy of ecology that is now occurring in the philosophical profession. Provides a bridge between philosophy and current scientific findings Covers theory and applications Encourages multi-disciplinary dialogue
This book traces the evolution of climate change research, which, long dominated by the natural sciences, now sees greater involvement with disciplines studying the socio-cultural implications of change. In their introduction, the editors chart the changing role of the social and cultural sciences, delineating three strands of research: socio-critical approaches which connect climate change to a call for cultural or systemic change; a mitigation and adaption strand which takes the physical reality of climate change as a starting point, and focuses on the concerns of climate change-affected communities and their participation in political action; and finally, culture-sensitive research which places emphasis on indigenous peoples, who contribute the least to the causes of climate change, who are affected most by its consequences, and who have the least leverage to influence a solution. Part I of the book explores interdisciplinarity, climate research and the role of the social sciences, including the concept of ecological novelty, an assessment of progress since the first Rio climate conference, and a 'global village' case study from Portugal. Part II surveys ethnographic perspectives in the search for social facts of global climate change, including climate and mobility in the West African Sahel, and human-non human interactions and climate change in the Canadian Subarctic. Part III shows how collaborative and comparative ethnographies can spin “global webs of local knowledge,” describing case studies of changing seasonality in Labrador and of rising water levels in the Chesapeake Bay. These perspectives are subjected to often-amusing, always incisive analysis in a concluding chapter entitled "You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: a death-defying look at the future of the climate debate." The contributors engage critically with the research subject of ‘climate change’ itself, reflecting on their own practices of knowledge production and epistemological presuppositions. Finely detailed and sympathetic to a broad range of viewpoints, the book sets out a profile for the social sciences and humanities in the climate change field by systematically exploring methodological and theoretical challenges and approaches.
Biological diversity - or ‘biodiversity’ - is the degree of variation of life within an ecosystem. It is a relatively new topic of study but has grown enormously in recent years. Because of its interdisciplinary nature the very concept of biodiversity is the subject of debate amongst philosophers, biologists, geographers and environmentalists. The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Biodiversity is an outstanding reference source to the key topics and debates in this exciting subject. Comprising twenty-three chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into six parts: Historical and sociological contexts, focusing on the emergence of the term and early attempts to measure biodiversity What is biodiversity? How should biodiversity be defined? How can biodiversity include entities at the edge of its boundaries, including microbial diversity and genetically engineered organisms? Why protect biodiversity? What can traditional environmental ethics contribute to biodiversity? Topics covered include anthropocentrism, intrinsic value, and ethical controversies surrounding the economics of biodiversity Measurement and methodology: including decision-theory and conservation, the use of indicators for biodiversity, and the changing use of genetics in biodiversity conservation Social contexts and global justice: including conservation and community conflicts and biodiversity and cultural values Biodiversity and other environmental values: How does biodiversity relate to other values like ecological restoration or ecological sustainability? Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy, environmental science and environmental studies, and conservation management, it will also be extremely useful to those studying biodiversity in subjects such as biology and geography.
The ecosystem approach, broadly understood as a legal and governance strategy for integrated environmental and biodiversity management, has been adopted within a wide variety of international environmental legal regimes and provides a narrative, a policy approach and in some cases legally binding obligations for States to implement what has been called a ‘new paradigm’ of environmental management. In this last respect, the ecosystem approach is also often considered to offer an opportunity to move beyond the outdated anthropocentric framework underpinning much of international environmental law, thus helping re-think law in the Anthropocene. Against this background, this book addresses the question of whether the ecosystem approach represents a paradigm shift in international environmental law and governance, or whether it is in conceptual and operative continuity with legal modernity. This central question is explored through a combined genealogical and biopolitical framework, which reveals how the ecosystem approach is the result of multiple contingencies and contestations, and of the interplay of divergent and sometimes irreconcilable ideological projects. The ecosystem approach, this books shows, does not have a univocal identity, and must be understood as both signalling the potential for a decisive shift in the philosophical orientation of law and the operationalisation of a biopolitical framework of control that is in continuity with, and even intensifies, the eco-destructive tendencies of legal modernity. It is, however, in revealing this disjunction that the book opens up the possibility of moving beyond the already tired assessment of environmental law through the binary of anthropocentrism and ecocentrism.
Language plays a central role in human life. However, the term ‘language’ as defined in the language sciences of the 20th century and the traditions these have drawn on, have arguably, limited our thinking about what language is and does. The two inter-linked volumes of Thibault’s study articulate crucially important aspects of an emerging new perspective shift on language - the Distributed Language view – that is now receiving more and more attention internationally. Rejecting the classical view that the fundamental architecture of language can be localized as a number of inter-related levels of formal linguistic organization that function as the coded inputs and outputs to each other, the distributed language view argues that languaging behaviour is a bio-cultural organisation of process that is embodied, multimodal, and integrated across multiple space-time scales. Thibault argues that we need to think of human languaging as the distinctively human mode of our becoming and being selves in the extended human ecology and the kinds of experiencing that this makes possible. Paradoxically, this also means thinking about language in non-linguistic ways that break the grip of the conventional meta-languages for thinking about human languaging. Thibault’s book grounds languaging in process theory: languaging and the forms of experience it actualizes is always an event, not a thing that we ‘use’. In taking a distinctively interdisciplinary approach, the book relates dialogical theories of human sense-making to the distributed view of human cognition, to recent thinking about distributed language, to ecological psychology, and to languaging as inter-individual affective dynamics grounded in the subjective lives of selves. In taking this approach, the book considers the coordination of selves in social encounters, the emergent forms of self-reflexivity that characterise these encounters, and the implications for how we think of and live our human sociality, not as something that is mediated by over-arching codes and systems, but as emerging from the endogenous subjectivities of selves when they seek to coordinate with other selves and with the situations, artefacts, social institutions, and technologies that populate the extended human ecology. The two volumes aim to bring our understanding of human languaging closer to human embodiment, experience, and feeling while also showing how languaging enables humans to transcend local circumstances and thus to dialogue with cultural tradition. Volume 1 focuses on the shorter timescales of bodily dynamics in languaging activity. Volume II integrates the shorter timescales of body dynamics to the longer cultural-historical timescales of the linguistic and cultural norms and patterns to which bodily dynamics are integrated.
Original essays by leading scholars consider the environment from biological and ethical perspectives. Philosophical reflections on the environment began with early philosophers' invocation of a cosmology that mixed natural and supernatural phenomena. Today, the central philosophical problem posed by the environment involves not what it can teach us about ourselves and our place in the cosmic order but rather how we can understand its workings in order to make better decisions about our own conduct regarding it. The resulting inquiry spans different areas of contemporary philosophy, many of which are represented by the fifteen original essays in this volume. The contributors first consider conceptual problems generated by rapid advances in biology and ecology, examining such topics as ecological communities, adaptation, and scientific consensus. The contributors then turn to epistemic and axiological issues, first considering philosophical aspects of environmental decision making and then assessing particular environmental policies (largely relating to climate change), including reparations, remediation, and nuclear power, from a normative perspective. Contributors Katie McShane, Robert Brandon, Rachel Bryant, Michael Trestman, Brian Steverson, Denis Walsh, Lorraine Code, Jay Odenbaugh, Joseph Cannon, Mariam Thalos, Chrisoula Andreou, Clare Palmer, Ben Hale, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Andrew Light
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Biology contains exciting new essays written to introduce the reader to one of the most vibrant areas of scholarship today. The handbook covers the history of the topic, moves through evolutionary theory, continues with discussions of molecular biology and ecology, and covers biology and ethics as well as biology and religion. There is no better way of learning about this dynamic subject than through the essays in this volume.
In today's world – despite the dramatic anthropogenic environmental changes – a proper understanding of the relationship between humanity and nature requires a certain detachment. The pressing problems in their whole extent will only be fully understood and solved with comprehensive and patient analysis. Accordingly, this book develops new perspectives on fundamental questions of biology, ecology, and the economy, integrated within a framework of a terminology specially devised by the authors. By illuminating the epistemological backgrounds of ecological-economic research, the authors lay foundations for interdisciplinary environmental research and offer guidelines for practical action. In close contact to the findings of present-day biology and economics, they demonstrate the fruitfulness as well as the shortcomings of modern science for the understanding of the proper place of humankind in nature. Many of the book's central concepts are rooted in a tradition whose origins go back to European philosophy and literature of the 17th Century. Frequently current problems in the fields of economics, ecology, politics, philosophy and biology are discussed in a kind of "dialogue" with thinkers and poets like Bacon, Quesnay, Kant, Goethe and Novalis. This approach of the book, known in Continental European Philosophy as hermeneutics, offers a ‘map’, rather than marking out a specific course. On the other hand, the book offers traits of the Anglo-Saxon tradition of thought: a precise, analytical approach to theory and a pragmatic approach to action. Both approaches are used by the authors complementarily. Thus the authors lay the foundations for an ecological economical and political practice which is able to tackle concrete environmental problems on an encompassing and long-term basis. This translated volume will be of great use and interest to students of ecology, economics and in particular environmental education, sustainable development and environmental ethics.
Renegotiations of identities in a 21st century world and a resurgence of older loyalties are calling into question our shared sense of belonging and place. This results in the predicament of how and where to feel at home.
First published during Kropotkin's imprisonment, this collection contains articles written between 1879 and 1882. The first complete English version.
For close to four decades, Murray Bookchin's eco-anarchist theory of social ecology has inspired philosophers and activists working to link environmental concerns with the desire for a free and egalitarian society. New veins of social ecology are now emerging, both extending and challenging Bookchin's ideas. For this instructive book, Andrew Light has assembled leading theorists to contemplate the next steps in the development of social ecology. Topics covered include reassessing ecological ethics, combining social ecology and feminism, building decentralized communities, evaluating new technology, relating theory to activism, and improving social ecology through interaction with other left traditions.
This volume is the first comprehensive and in-depth discussion written in English of the Confucian tradition in the context of the intellectual history of Korea. It deals with the historical, social, political, philosophical and spiritual dimensions of Korean Confucianism, arguably the most influential intellectual tradition, ethical and religious practice, and political-ideological system in Korea. This volume analyzes the unique aspects of the Korean development of the Confucian tradition by examining the role of Confucianism as the ruling ideology of the Choson Dynasty (1302-1910). It investigates Confucianism’s social and cultural construction, and intellectual foundation in highlighting the Korean achievement of the Neo-Confucian discussion on "human nature and its principle" in light of the Chinese Neo-Confucian development. The volume also surveys the most influential Korean Confucian scholars discussing their philosophical significance in relation to one of the most fundamental Neo-Confucian discourses, namely the li (principle) and qi (material force) debates, to elucidate how metaphysical theories shaped the socio-political factions of the Choson Dynasty. Furthermore, issues concerning the relationship between Confucianism and Buddhism and other native traditional belief systems are also included in this volume. The volume explores the Confucian confrontation with modernity, encounter with the "Western Learning" including Western science and Catholicism, and the Confucian struggle with modernity in dealing with issues such as democracy, human rights, and gender in modern Korea. Individual contributors of this volume are either well established senior scholars or promising young scholars in the field.
The philosophy of biology is one of the most exciting new areas in the field of philosophy and one that is attracting much attention from working scientists. This Companion, edited by two of the founders of the field, includes newly commissioned essays by senior scholars and up-and-coming younger scholars who collectively examine the main areas of the subject - the nature of evolutionary theory, classification, teleology and function, ecology, and the problematic relationship between biology and religion, among other topics. Up-to-date and comprehensive in its coverage, this unique volume will be of interest not only to professional philosophers but also to students in the humanities and researchers in the life sciences and related areas of inquiry.