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Environmental Ethics: An Overview for theTwenty-First Century (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 14. Februar 2014

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"Robin Attfield has always been good at bringing together the fragmented, and sometimes quarrelsome, assemblies of campaigners who (somewhat desperately) strive to protect our planet. Here he does it again, wisely pointing out how many different reasons there are for attempting this enterprise and how they can most usefully be combined ... Congratulations!"
Mary Midgley
"This is clearly the best introductory book in environmental ethics to date."
Dieter Birnbacher, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf
"Attfield, for decades a leading figure in the field, continues at the forefront with his second edition. Here is further proof that environmental ethics is alive, well, challenging, and urgent on Earth."
Holmes Rolston, III, Colorado State University

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Robin Attfield is Professor of Philosophy at Cardiff University.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
Ausgewählte Seiten ansehen
Buchdeckel | Copyright | Inhaltsverzeichnis | Auszug | Stichwortverzeichnis
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
This is a scholarly work that may not be easy to read 26. Juli 2014
Von Connie G Scammell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
This is a scholarly work that may not be easy to read. It is intended for students and researchers of environmental ethics. Author Robin Attfield does have a good argument here in that environmental issues become global issues and should concern everyone, which he lays out in the book's chapters.

The book is not easy to understand at first. In fact, the many theories and names mentioned is quite overwhelming. He covers a lot of theories by other environmental ethicists and philosophers, and his research is impressive. He mentions ecofeminism quite a bit in the early chapters, a term I had never heard of before. He covers debates and critiques in the first three chapters, all which can dazzle the mind or overload the cognitive thinking process.

The chapters become easier to understand as the book focuses on issues and gets away from the plethora of theories and ideologies of the first three chapters. Chapter 5's "Sustainable Development, Population and Precaution" starts getting introspective, and I find that starting with this chapter, the book gets much more interesting for the common reader. The book ends with more insight of global communities and climate change, wrapping up what starts out very dry into an intelligent, intellectual work of scholarly proportions.

He has a nice glossary toward the end of the book that I appreciate, because terms like "biocentric consequentialism" are not everyday words.

This book is well worth checking out.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A valiant effort at making environmental ethics understandable... 21. Juli 2014
Von R S Cobblestone - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
All of us make decisions or observations regarding what is "right" and what is "wrong." Understanding the logic behind these decisions is something different. With Environmental Ethics: An Overview for theTwenty-First Century, author and philosopher Robin Attfield takes the reader through environmental ethics methodically and carefully. Attfield repeats topics as necessary, reminds readers periodically what they should be understanding, and continues to cross-reference the topic under discussion with previous and future chapters. This makes this volume a useful book for a classroom setting at the college level, and also an understandable text when read outside of a classroom setting (although I can really see getting the most out of this book when combined with lecture and discussion).

I am appreciative of the focus not simply on the classic environmental issues of the past, but on current and future environmental issues.
New Ways To Read Hard Truths 5. Juni 2014
Von Kevin L. Nenstiel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
As I write, many locations near my prairie hometown had their earliest 100-degree spring days ever, following a winter alternating between arctic cold and appallingly dry warmth. While media pundits dither over he-said/she-said fake debates and false equivalencies, global warming is unfolding mainly as scientists anticipated. Plus we can’t drink our well water anymore, while ragweed and toxic black mold grow everywhere. We’re overdue for serious planning.

Welsh ethicist Robin Attfield lays out the terms in current and imminent debates surrounding environmental change so we can engage the issues in real, not TV, terms. Because so many venues have reduced important debates to personalities and profiles, Attfield’s intricate definitions of terms serve valuable corrective measures. While his academic prose sometimes runs to impenetrability, his attempts to clarify humanity’s top global issue is both timely and welcome.

First, this isn’t a scientific text. Though evidence-based scientific reasoning remains dismally rare in climate debates, Attfield focuses, as his title implies, on ethical concerns: not possible options, but good options. For instance, what are we saving the earth for? Do we defend the environment for humanity’s sake, or because species and habitats have intrinsic value before humans arrive? Why we save the earth colors how we save the earth.

Organized environmental responses have been historically circumscribed by near-term thinking. Not only large-scale polluters, whose motivations are widely known, but even environmental activists have maintained narrow horizons. Banning coal-burning power plants would alleviate some problems, but at what human cost? Would carbon capture technologies fix global problems, or just create new incentives to thoughtless consumerism? Easy answers aren’t forthcoming. Ethical environmentalism requires seeing empirical evidence, and seeing beyond it, too.

Cost-benefit analysis has its detractors. Back in the 1990s, a famous poll indicated Americans would support environmental reforms “at any cost”—a position Americans rapidly walked back when real costs revealed themselves. Attfield recognizes every human action has moral implications; we do nothing abstractly, but rather, every choice forecloses on other choices. He persuasively argues that tools for morally uplifting decision-making exist, if we would just use them.

Attfield has no interest in climate change deniers. He spends no particular time debating whether global warming, soil salinization, water pollution, and other environmental catastrophes are really happening; like north of ninety-seven percent of climate scientists, he simply takes these issues as proven. But how to answer these issues is far less obvious. Simply saying “don’t do these destructive things” isn’t good enough, because ramifications echo down the line.

We’re not, say, in any position to abandon carbon-burning technology yet. How, then to ameliorate the damage atmospheric carbon does to global temperatures and UV rates? Economic measures, like Cap’n Trade, essentially permit rich capitalists to hoard pollution credits, ensuring the status quo perseveres for those with money. Horse-drawn idealism likewise punishes those who cannot afford it. Where do human interests and environmental necessity converge, or do they?

As just this one example, among Attfield’s many, demonstrates, obvious answers generally prove unsatisfactory. Because environmental degradation distributes its consequences blindly across the globe, we cannot think in national, regional, or class-based terms. Attfield spends entire chapters on global citizenship, in the old Jeffersonian ideal of “citizenship,” because we cannot life with blinders on any longer. We must, individually and together, act for the future we will eventually inhabit.

Don’t undertake this book flippantly. Attfield dedicates his largest effort to defining terms. Sometimes, in areas of empirical scientific discoveries, this is fairly easy. But in areas science cannot easily designate, definitions must expand to include controversial ideas and conflicting viewpoints. Attfield strives to remain scrupulously fair, and though he excludes ignorance merchantry and flat-earth pseudoscience, he struggles to include every legitimate disputant in his intellectual landscape.

Therefore, many concepts cable news treats as concise and unchallenged, Attfield examines from diverse viewpoints. Readers weaned on facile binary TV debates may find Attfield’s nuanced, philosophically dense approach overwhelming. Hey, I read philosophy, and I find Attfield very difficult. But he’s addressing very, very difficult problems, which grow more difficult with prolonged inaction. Mass-media debates prolong dialog while encouraging passivity. Attfield’s difficult philosophy empowers us to act.
Ethical calculations based on the consequences to all affected, now and in the future 30. April 2014
Von Charles Ashbacher - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Establishing the proper parameters of ethical conduct is often difficult in personal situations, in the case of determining the proper behaviors when considering the global environment the level of complexity is orders of magnitude greater. If an individual, small group or a nation commits acts with negative environmental consequences the consequences affect more than the people in the immediate area. The range of change covers local non-human organisms, the global ecosystem and even generations of all organisms, including humans that are yet to be born. It also includes the potential degradation of natural beauty, understood by nearly all to be important but extremely hard to quantify. Therefore, any ethical calculation regarding environmental impact has to include current and future generations of all creatures as well as the loss of the opportunity to experience natural wonders.
Attfield deals with these issues as well as the extreme complexity of accepting immediate economic decline, including the production of food, in order to achieve an improvement in the environment in the future. These issues are dealt with at length, for any reduction in economic growth will potentially lead to severe hardship for millions.
Attfield also delves deeply into the difficulties of achieving any form of international cooperation, which is likely the only way of solving the problem of environmental degradation. Although towards the end, Attfield does favorably mention the possibility of local communities developing a form of self-sufficiency that serves to protect the environment. The problem with this can be easily stated by citing the fact that pollution created in China is now detectable in the air over the west coast of the United States. Local action can help, but it cannot solve the problem if others see no need to cooperate or think that savings elsewhere give them the slack to increase their levels of pollution.
Complex problems have complex solutions and there is none with more potential for catastrophe than the continued degradation of the environment. At this time, every alternative for producing energy has a serious flaw and any sudden and significant economic change designed to aid the environment will cost some group dearly. Attfield puts forward ethical positions that incorporate a consideration of all those affected by environmental degradation and is an excellent text for courses in ethics, philosophy, religion and biology.
2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A nice overview of environmental ethics. 19. Juni 2014
Von Jesse D. Walker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Robin Attfield has written a good book on environmental ethics here. It covers the field relatively broadly, but the author does not hide his biases, subjectivism, or preference for his favorite ethos, "biocentric consequentialism". While I usually think objectivity should be the goal of academic texts, every similar book I've read shares this trait: authors of environmental ethics books seem quite fond of sharing and defending their own preferred views of the world.

This book is definitely academic in tone. It's a slow read, and filled with philosophical jargon that may make it difficult for some readers. That said, the content is critically important to our future, and understanding the arguments is well worth the time invested.

It's nice that it's up to date. Other books of mine, such as The Green Reader: Essays Toward a Sustainable Society or Ecology (Key Concepts in Critical Theory), which I had and used in my undergraduate environmental ethics course with Carolyn Merchant at UC Berkeley, don't tend to deal with the most recent knowledge of current environmental decline, or recent ethical approaches (those are still both excellent books though, and well worth looking into; as anthologies, they're a bit different than this one).

A similar book to this one, also recently published, is Patrick Curry's Ecological Ethics. He tends a bit more to ecocentrism rather than biocentrism, but the books offer similar coverage and ideas overall.

Anyway, I'm an ecologist by profession. Regardless of your preferred philosophical approach, maintaining, sustaining, and (where possible) repairing Earth's systems will be critically important in upcoming years because of increasing human impacts. I'm glad ethicists are dealing with these issues, and hope that environmental concern of all kinds will be more widespread in the future, because it is an essential prerequisite to positive environmental action and the perpetuation of all species, including our own.
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