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Environmental Philosophy

The first comprehensive treatment of environmental philosophy, going beyond ethics to address the philosophical concepts that underlie environmental thinking and policy-making today Encompasses all of environmental philosophy, including conservation biology, restoration ecology, sustainability, environmental justice, and more Offers the first treatment of decision theory in an environmental philosophy text Explores the conceptions of nature and ethical presuppositions that underlie contemporary environmental debates, and, moving from theory to practice, shows how decision theory translates to public policy Addresses both hot-button issues, including population and immigration reform, and such ongoing issues as historical legacies and nations' responsibility and obligation for environmental problems Anchors philosophical concepts to their practical applications, establishing the priority of the discipline's real-world importance
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix List of Acronyms xi 1 Introduction 1 2 What Is the Environment? 13 3 Ethics for the Environment 38 4 From Ethics to Policy 65 5 Biodiversity and Conservation 98 6 Environmental Restoration 130 7 Sustainability 157 8 Justice and Equity 174 9 Where Does This Leave Us? 196 Glossary 202 References 204 Index 219


About the Author

Sahotra Sarkar specializes in the history and philosophy ofscience and conservation biology; he helped develop the frameworkfor systematic conservation planning for the protection ofbiodiversity (as co-author, with Chris Margules, of SystematicConservation Planning). He also co-edited The Philosophy ofScience: An Encyclopedia and A Companion to the Philosophyof Biology. He is the author of Doubting Darwin?:Creationist Designs on Evolution (Blackwell), Genetics andReductionism, Molecular Models of Life, and Biodiversity and Environmental Philosophy. He is a professorof Philosophy and Integrative Biology at the University of Texas atAustin.


Sarkar deftly weaves the humanities and ecological science into a convincing argument that environmental conservation and management are social, economic and political, and thus philosophical and cultural, problems as much as they are ecological and biological ones; maybe even more so. Not only students of philosophy should read this book but also conservation biologists. It will enlighten them. Chris Margules AM, Conservation International

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