By: Keekok Lee
300 pages, Illustrations
In this work, the Singapore-born philosopher Keekok Lee challenges one of the central assumptions of contemporary environmentalism: that if we could reduce or eliminate pollution we could "save" the planet without unduly disrupting our modern, industrialized societies. Lee argues instead that the process of modernization, with its attendant emphasis on technological innovation, has fundamentally transformed "nature" into just another man-made "artefact". Ultimately, what needs to be determined is if nature has value above and beyond human considerations, whether aesthetic, spiritual or biological.
The book represents an attempt to reconfigure environmental ethics, positing the existence of two separate ontological categories - the "natural" and the "artefactual" - one of which accepts that non-human organisms are "morally considerable", while other places human needs and desires at the centre of the environmental movement.
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