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Hardcover | $40.00 Short | £32.95 | 316 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 12 figures | April 2012 | ISBN: 9780262017404
eBook | $28.00 Short | April 2012 | ISBN: 9780262302579
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The Environment

Philosophy, Science, and Ethics


Philosophical reflections on the environment began with early philosophers’ invocation of a cosmology that mixed natural and supernatural phenomena. Today, the central philosophical problem posed by the environment involves not what it can teach us about ourselves and our place in the cosmic order but rather how we can understand its workings in order to make better decisions about our own conduct regarding it. The resulting inquiry spans different areas of contemporary philosophy, many of which are represented by the fifteen original essays in this volume.

The contributors first consider conceptual problems generated by rapid advances in biology and ecology, examining such topics as ecological communities, adaptation, and scientific consensus. The contributors then turn to epistemic and axiological issues, first considering philosophical aspects of environmental decision making and then assessing particular environmental policies (largely relating to climate change), including reparations, remediation, and nuclear power, from a normative perspective.

Katie McShane, Robert Brandon, Rachel Bryant, Michael Trestman, Brian Steverson, Denis Walsh, Lorraine Code, Jay Odenbaugh, Joseph Cannon, Mariam Thalos, Chrisoula Andreou, Clare Palmer, Ben Hale, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Andrew Light

About the Editors

William P. Kabasenche is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Washington State University.

Michael O’Rourke is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University.

Matthew H. Slater is Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Bucknell University.


The Environment is a helpful tool…It presents fifteen essays covering an impressive array of subjects related to the environment – all interesting, all relevant…a great starting point for any professional philosopher interested in the environment…a necessary reminder that all of us, whatever our philosophical specialty, have something to contribute to the cause.”—Kendy M. Hess, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
“A must-read for anyone trying to enter the controversy over the role of philosophy in solving the environmental crisis….deserves to be read by policy makers….a valuable set of foundational ideas, with practical implications.”—Metascience