What is 'nature'? In what sense are humans parts of it? And why, if at all, should we strive to conserve it? Environmental issues raise a host of fascinating philosophical questions. Yet all too often these questions are tackled in an overly abstract way, one that fails to account for what it is like to experience the natural world. The Presence of Nature takes a different approach. Drawing on the philosophical tradition of phenomenology as well as a number of literary sources, Simon James takes a refreshingly new perspective on a range of topics, including animal consciousness, the moral imperative to conserve nature and the view that the natural world exists independently of human concerns. In so doing, he develops an original approach to environmental philosophy, one that takes seriously the various ways we encounter the natural world in the living of our lives.
Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction Our Place in Nature Animal Minds Nature's Value, and Other Obsessions Why Conserve Nature? Beyond the Human Conclusion Bibliography Index
SIMON P. JAMES has degrees in biology, history and philosophy of science and philosophy. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Durham University, UK. He is the author of Zen Buddhism and Environmental Ethics (2004) and, with David E. Cooper, Buddhism, Virtue and Environment (2005).
'James's philosophical exploration of the ecophenomenological landscape opens new vistas, helping us see a way through the deep thicket of ethical challenges that we denizens of the earth now face. This is an important and provocative book, and an adventure in thinking not to be missed.' - Iain Thomson, University of New Mexico