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Environmental Ethics

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Environmental Ethics

In this clear, concise, comprehensively revised and up-to-date introduction...

NHBS Price: £16.99 $22/€19 approx

By: Robin Attfield(Author)

232 pages, no illustrations


Paperback | Dec 2003 | Edition: 1 | #137990 | ISBN: 0745627382
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 2003 | Edition: 1 | #137988 | ISBN: 0745627374
Out of Print Details

About this book

In this clear, concise 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.

Environmental Ethics 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.

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.


"An excellent overview of the territory and a compelling account of consequentialism in environmental ethics."
- James Garvey, author of The Ethics of Climate Change

"Attfield has given us a most comprehensive environmental ethics, indeed the most inclusive, global, cosmopolitan, universal ethic. This is an unexcelled survey and synthesis of the emormous range of challenging issues (and of the literature of their debate), as we, turning the next century and millennium, figure out our human responsibilities toward each other and the larger community of life on Earth. Attfield's 'biocentric consequentialism' is radical, compelling, urgent."
- Holmes Rolston III, Colorado State University



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.

Glossary Of Key Terms.



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Robin Attfield is a Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University

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