This important book brings together leading environmental thinkers to debate a central conflict within environmental philosophy: should we appreciate nature mainly for its ability to advance our interests or should we respect it as having a good of its own, apart from any contribution to human well being? Specifically, the fourteen essays collected here discuss the 'convergence hypothesis' put forth by Bryan Norton - a controversial thesis in environmental ethics about the policy implications of moral arguments for environmental protection.
Historically influential essays are joined with newly commissioned essays to provide the first sustained attempt to reconcile two long-opposed positions. Norton himself offers the book's closing essay. This seminal volume contains contributions from some of the most respected scholars in the field, including Donald Brown, J. Baird Callicott, Andrew Light, Holmes Rolston III, Laura Westra, and many others.
Acknowledgments; Part I: Introduction; 1: Unity Among Environmentalists?: Debating the Values-Policy Link in Environmental Ethics / Ben A. Minteer; Part II:. Environmental Ethics and the Convergence Hypothesis Controversy: The First Wave; 2: Contextualism and Norton's Convergence Hypothesis / Brian K. Steverson; 3: Convergence and Contextualism: Some Clarifications and a Reply to Steverson / Bryan G. Norton; 4: Why Norton's Approach is Insufficient for Environmental Ethics / Laura Westra; 5: Convergence in Environmental Values: An Empirical and Conceptual Defense / Ben A. Minteer and Robert E. Manning; 6: The Relevance of Environmental Ethical Theories for Policy Making / Mikael Stenmark; Part III: Expanding the Discussion: The Convergence-Divergence Debate Today; 7: Compromising vs. Reconstituting Environmental Ethics / Holmes Rolston, III; 8: Environmental Ethics and Future Generations / Douglas MacLean; 9: Implicit Intrinsic Value, Operational Rights, and De Facto Standing in the Endangered Species Act; / J. Baird Callicott; 10: Convergence in an Agrarian Key; / Paul B. Thompson; 11: Convergence and Ecological Restoration: A Counterexample / Eric Katz; 12: Does a Public Environmental Philosophy Entail a Convergence Hypothesis? / Andrew Light; 13: The Importance of Creating an Applied Environmental Ethics: Lessons Learned from Climate Change / Donald A. Brown; 14: Who's Converging with Whom? / An Open Letter to Professor Bryan Norton from a Policy Wonk; Daniel Sarewitz; Part IV: Reply by Bryan Norton; 14: Convergence and Divergence: The Convergence Hypothesis Twenty Years Later / Bryan G. Norton; About the Contributors; Endnotes
&i;"Nature in Common? brings together leading environmental philosophers to sharpen and clarify the divisions and critically examine the strengths and limits of moving environmentalists toward an agenda with which most can agree. This is an important and unique collection of essays. Minteer's introductory framing is excellent, and each of the chapters, are clear and forceful. This volume is a major contribution and deserves to be read widely."&o;
- Jan Dizard, Amherst College