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Andrew Light

Andrew Light is Director of the Center for Global Ethics at George Mason University and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Titles by This Editor

What role can philosophers play in helping to resolve the moral and political dilemmas faced by environmental activists and policymakers? Moving away from environmental philosophy's usual focus on abstractions such as nonanthropocentrism and the intrinsic value of nature, this book focuses on environmental practice as the starting point for theoretical reflection. Philosophical thinking, it argues, need not be divided into the academic and the practical. Philosophy can take a more publicly engaged approach.

The authors combine a deep understanding of the environmental ethics literature with a sympathetic sociological and political examination of environmental activists and their reasoning. The book is divided into three parts: Political Theory and Environmental Practice, Philosophical Tools for Environmental Practice, and Rethinking Philosophy through Environmental Practice. Case studies are included from Canada, Denmark, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Topics range from the specific, such as fox hunting and leaded gasoline, to the more general, such as biodiversity in India, biomedical ethics, and crop biotechnology.

Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology

The philosophy of deep ecology originated in the 1970s with the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess and has since spread around the world. Its basic premises are a belief in the intrinsic value of nonhuman nature, a belief that ecological principles should dictate human actions and moral evaluations, an emphasis on noninterference into natural processes, and a critique of materialism and technological progress.

This book approaches deep ecology as a philosophy, not as a political, social, or environmental movement. In part I, the authors compare deep ecology's philosophical ideas with other positions and debates in environmental philosophy and to other schools of thought such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and moral pluralism. In part II, they investigate the connections between deep ecology and other contemporary world views, such as continental philosophy, postmodernism, and non-Western philosophical traditions. The first anthology on deep ecology that is not primarily the work of the movement's followers, Beneath the Surface offers a rigorous assessment of deep ecology's strengths and weaknesses as a philosophical position.

Contributors:
John Clark, Deane Curtin, Arran Gare, William Grey, Mathew Humphrey, Knut Jacobsen, Eric Katz, Andrew Light, Jonathan Maskit, Val Plumwood, David Rothenberg, Ariel Salleh, Bron Taylor, Michael Zimmerman.