Cover

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Contents

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p. vii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

No book ever grows in a vacuum. The seeds for Skeptical Environmentalism were planted in 1991, when I was a

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Introduction

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pp. 1-13

Skepticism is a dangerous business, not least because it is so easily misunderstood. In the final section of his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume noted that the skeptic, along with the “speculative atheist,” has traditionally been identified as an enemy of religion and so “naturally provokes the indignation of divines and graver philosophers.” More broadly, skepticism...

Part 1: Knowledge

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One: The Nature of Nature

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pp. 17-48

Environmentalism will succeed only if its advocates can bring about a change in the way people behave. How can environmentalists do this? Answers come from all sides: regulate, legislate, litigate, negotiate, innovate, and educate; restructure the marketplace to create new incentives; restructure the schools to create a new kind of citizen; restructure civilization...

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Two: Organism and Mechanism

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pp. 49-84

Given the shortcomings of speculation, it is no surprise that many environmental philosophers turn to the natural sciences to bolster claims on behalf of relatedness. It is also no surprise that ecology is the most common source of inspiration, although evolutionary biology and quantum mechanics have both served...

Part 2: Obligation

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Three: A Place on Earth

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pp. 87-117

In 1765, Jean-Jacques Rousseau was driven into exile following the publication of

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Four: The Moral Compass

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pp. 118-146

However difficult it might be to describe—or prescribe— the place of humans in nature, environmental philosophers continue their search for a moral compass to guide humanity out of the environmental crisis. Aldo Leopold’s land ethic serves as the prototype. He envisioned a historical and evolutionary process by which human ethics become more and more inclusive over...

Part 3: Hope

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Five: Environmentalism without Illusions

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pp. 149-182

There is no need to rehearse the litany of environmental problems that now confront human civilization. From local habitat loss to global climate change, these problems have entered the public imagination through the media and the tireless efforts of environmental advocacy groups. Each problem can be considered on its own and, as such, is troublesome enough. For many,...

Notes

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pp. 183-192

Bibliography

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pp. 193-201

Index

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pp. 203-211