Searching for Sustainability: Interdisciplinary Essays in the Philosophy of Conservation Biology (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology)

Searching for Sustainability: Interdisciplinary Essays in the Philosophy of Conservation Biology (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology)

By: Bryan G. Norton (author)Paperback

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This book examines from a multidisciplinary viewpoint the question of what we mean - what we should mean - by setting sustainability as a goal for environmental management. The author, trained as a philosopher of science and language, explores ways to break down the disciplinary barriers to communication and deliberation about environment policy, and to integrate science and evaluations into a more comprehensive environmental policy. Choosing sustainability as the keystone concept of environmental policy, the author explores what we can learn about sustainable living from the philosophy of pragmatism, from ecology, from economics, from planning, from conservation biology and from related disciplines. The idea of adaptive, or experimental, management provides the context, while insights from various disciplines are integrated into a comprehensive philosophy of environmental management. The book will appeal to students and professionals in the fields of environmental policy and ethics, conservation biology, and philosophy of science.


General introduction: an interdisciplinary experiment. Part I. Pragmatism as an Environmental Philosophy: 1. The constancy of Leopold's land ethic; 2. Thoreau and Leopold on science and values; 3. Integration or reduction: two approaches to environmental values; 4. Convergence corroborated: a comment on Arne Naess on wolf policies; 5. Pragmatism, adaptive management, and sustainability; Part II. Science, Policy, and Policy Science: 6. What is a conservation biologist?; 7. Biological resources and endangered species: history, values, and policy; 8. Leopold as practical moralist and pragmatic policy analyst; 9. Improving ecological communication; Part III. Economics and Environmental Sustainability: 10. Sustainability, human welfare, and ecosystem health; 11. Economists' preferences and the preferences of economists; 12. Evaluating ecosystem states: two competing paradigms; 13. The evolution of preferences: Why 'sovereign' preferences may not lead to sustainable policies and what to do about it; 14. Sustainability: ecological and economic perspectives; Part IV. Scaling Sustainability: Ecology as if Humans Mattered: 15. Context and hierarchy in Aldo Leopold's theory of environmental management; 16. Scale and biodiversity: a hierarchical approach; 17. Ecological integrity and social values: at what scale; 18. Change, constancy, and creativity: the new ecology and some old problems; 19. Democracy and sense of place values; Part V. Some Elements of a Philosophy of Sustainable Living: 20. Caring for nature: a broader look at animal stewardship; 21. Can there be a universal earth ethic? Reflections on the earth charter; 22. Intergenerational equity and sustainability; Part VI. Valuing Sustainability: Toward a More Comprehensive Approach to Environmental Evaluation: 23. Commodity, amenity, and morality: the limits of quantification in valuing biodiversity; 24. The cultural approach to conservation biology; 25. Evaluation and ecosystem management: new directions needed?; 26. What do we owe the future? An argument for introducing wolves into Adirondack Park; 27. Environmental values and adaptive management.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780521007788
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 566
  • ID: 9780521007788
  • weight: 877
  • ISBN10: 052100778X

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