Ronald Sandler

Ronald Sandler is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University.

  • Environmental Justice and Environmentalism

    Environmental Justice and Environmentalism

    The Social Justice Challenge to the Environmental Movement

    Ronald Sandler and Phaedra C. Pezzullo

    Analysis and case studies from interdisciplinary perspectives explore the possibility and desirability of collaboration between the grassroots-oriented environmental justice movement and mainstream environmental organizations.

    Although the environmental movement and the environmental justice movement would seem to be natural allies, their relationship over the years has often been characterized by conflict and division. The environmental justice movement has charged the mainstream environmental movement with racism and elitism and has criticized its activist agenda on the grounds that it values wilderness over people. Environmental justice advocates have called upon environmental organizations to act on environmental injustice and address racism and classism in their own hiring and organizational practices, lobbying agenda, and political platforms. This book examines the current relationship between the two movements in both conceptual and practical terms and explores the possibilities for future collaboration. In ten original essays, contributors from a variety of disciplines consider such topics as the relationship between the two movements' ethical commitments and activist goals, instances of successful cooperation in U.S. contexts, and the challenges posed to both movements by globalization and climate change. They examine the possibility and desirability of one unified movement as opposed to two complementary ones by means of analyses and case studies; these include a story of asbestos hazards that begins in a Montana mine and ends with the release of asbestos insulation into the air of Manhattan after the collapse of the World Trade Center. This book, part of a necessary rethinking of the relationship between the two movements, shows that effective, mutually beneficial alliances can advance the missions of both.

    Contributors Kim Allen, J. Robert Cox, Vinci Daro, Kevin DeLuca, Giovanna Di Chiro, Daniel Faber, Dorothy Holland, Dale Jamieson, M. Nils Peterson, Markus John Peterson, Tarla Rai Peterson, Phaedra C. Pezzullo, J. Timmons Roberts, Ronald Sandler, Steve Schwarze, Peter Wenz

    • Hardcover $13.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00

Contributor

  • Synthetic Biology and Morality

    Synthetic Biology and Morality

    Artificial Life and the Bounds of Nature

    Gregory E. Kaebnick and Thomas H. Murray

    A range of views on the morality of synthetic biology and its place in public policy and political discourse.

    Synthetic biology, which aims to design and build organisms that serve human needs, has potential applications that range from producing biofuels to programming human behavior. The emergence of this new form of biotechnology, however, raises a variety of ethical questions—first and foremost, whether synthetic biology is intrinsically troubling in moral terms. Is it an egregious example of scientists “playing God”? Synthetic Biology and Morality takes on this threshold ethical question, as well as others that follow, offering a range of philosophical and political perspectives on the power of synthetic biology.

    The contributors consider the basic question of the ethics of making new organisms, with essays that lay out the conceptual terrain and offer opposing views of the intrinsic moral concerns; discuss the possibility that synthetic organisms are inherently valuable; and address whether, and how, moral objections to synthetic biology could be relevant to policy making and political discourse. Variations of these questions have been raised before, in debates over other biotechnologies, but, as this book shows, they take on novel and illuminating form when considered in the context of synthetic biology.

    Contributors John Basl, Mark A. Bedau, Joachim Boldt, John H. Evans, Bruce Jennings, Gregory E. Kaebnick, Ben Larson, Andrew Lustig, Jon Mandle, Thomas H. Murray, Christopher J. Preston, Ronald Sandler

    • Hardcover $42.00 £28.95
    • Paperback $25.00 £20.00
  • Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change

    Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change

    Human Virtues of the Future

    Allen Thompson and Jeremy Bendik-Keymer

    An analytically precise and theoretically probing exploration of the challenge to our values and virtues posed by climate change.

    Predictions about global climate change have produced both stark scenarios of environmental catastrophe and purportedly pragmatic ideas about adaptation. This book takes a different perspective, exploring the idea that the challenge of adapting to global climate change is fundamentally an ethical one, that it is not simply a matter of adapting our infrastructures and economies to mitigate damage but rather of adapting ourselves to realities of a new global climate. The challenge is to restore our conception of humanity—to understand human flourishing in new ways—in an age in which humanity shapes the basic conditions of the global environment. In the face of what we have unintentionally done to Earth's ecology, who shall we become?

    The contributors examine ways that new realities will require us to revisit and adjust the practice of ecological restoration; the place of ecology in our conception of justice; the form and substance of traditional virtues and vices; and the organizations, scale, and underlying metaphors of important institutions. Topics discussed include historical fidelity in ecological restoration; the application of capability theory to ecology; the questionable ethics of geoengineering; and the cognitive transformation required if we are to “think like a planet.”

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.95
    • Paperback $35.00 £27.00
  • Carving Nature at Its Joints

    Carving Nature at Its Joints

    Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science

    Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and Matthew H. Slater

    Reflections on the metaphysics and epistemology of classification from a distinguished group of philosophers.

    Contemporary discussions of the success of science often invoke an ancient metaphor from Plato's Phaedrus: successful theories should "carve nature at its joints." But is nature really "jointed"? Are there natural kinds of things around which our theories cut? The essays in this volume offer reflections by a distinguished group of philosophers on a series of intertwined issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of classification.

    The contributors consider such topics as the relevance of natural kinds in inductive inference; the role of natural kinds in natural laws; the nature of fundamental properties; the naturalness of boundaries; the metaphysics and epistemology of biological kinds; and the relevance of biological kinds to certain questions in ethics. Carving Nature at Its Joints offers both breadth and thematic unity, providing a sampling of state-of-the-art work in contemporary analytic philosophy that will be of interest to a wide audience of scholars and students concerned with classification.

    • Hardcover $13.75 £11.95
    • Paperback $32.00 £25.00