Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice

Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice

Edited by Andrew Light and Barbara Russo





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.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262122528 366 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


$35.00 X ISBN: 9780262621649 366 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


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.

Barbara Russo


  • If you thought that environmental philosophy had lost sight of environmental practice, think again. Anyone who has ever despaired at bringing activists and theorists into beneficial contact will find plenty of succor and sound advice in these pages.

    Open University


  • It is fascinating to listen in behind the scenes as philosophers try to figure out new ways to be relevant in the debate over the environment. I hope these nascent efforts expand—the recalibration of the rightful human role in the natural world is one of the great practical challenges of the new century, and philosophers could and should play an important role.

    Bill McKibben

    author of Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

  • This balanced and brilliant collection bridges environmental philosophy and environmental practice to the betterment of both.

    Mark Sagoff

    Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, University of Maryland