Ecological Thought

Ecological Thought : An Introduction

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This book offers a new introduction to the implications of ecology for social and political thought, arguing for green ideas to be taken seriously by mainstream social and political more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 22.9mm | 408.24g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745613209
  • 9780745613208

Back cover copy

This book offers an accessible introduction to the implications of ecology for social and political thought. The book surveys a range of debates about values in nature, the meaning of sustainable development, and such questions as whether human rights are compatible with ecological responsibilities. Sensitive throughout to the social dimension of ecological problems, it also develops a theoretical framework for ecological politics. The damage humans are inflicting on their environment, on other species and on their own future prospects on earth requires an urgent response - but what sort? Contemporary debates feature a variety of views. According to some, there must be a radical transformation of the whole trajectory of development of modern societies; this implies a fundamental challenge to the attitudes and values which have prevailed in the West since the Enlightenment. Others see a wholesale rejection of modern forms of life and thought as neither realistic nor necessary, claiming that solutions to ecological problems must be sought in a more consistent application of scientific reason. In analysing the competing arguments, the author shows that the radical claims of ecological thought must be taken seriously, but that a non-exploitative attitude to nature is consistent with a continued commitment to Enlightenment values such as democracy, human rights and the pursuit of knowledge. This book will be of interest to all those who wish to gain a basic understanding of ecological controversies today. It will appeal to the interested lay reader and to students in environmental studies, ethics, sociology and political more

Review quote

"Hayward's book is superbly written, clear, intelligent, balanced and accessible. It has all the qualities of a first-rate introduction to its subject." Professor Ted Benton, University of Essex "This book is of great political and theoretical importance. Against the radical ecologist, Hayward argues that we need more humanism, not less; but this is a reconstructed humanism - one in which enlightenment takes an ecological form." Professor Andrew Dobson, University of Keele "The author provides a well-written examination of the social, economic and political implications of trying to come to terms with the goal of a sustainable environment, looking at all sides of the argument, and developing a theoretical framework for ecological politics." Aslib Book Guide "Ecological Thought is an important and highly-recommended book ... Well written ... it plumbs many ethical and philosophical aspects of what ecological thinking means." Republican News "Tim Hayward offers a balanced and altogether impressive overview of the field. Hayward has the ability to state clearly the basic grounds of debate and then to pursue issues in detail, for those interested in learning more ... A very welcome addition to the curriculum on environmental politics/ethics." Environmental Politics "The book ... provides a clear and accessible overview of most of the major recent currents in ecological ethics, economics and politics. To the student and the general reader it will provide an invaluable introduction to recent ecological thought." Radical Philosophy "Ideal for student reading lists on environment-related social science courses. Hayward's Ecological Thought offers a clear introduction to the ways in which environmental values reshape debates in social and political thought. The book unpacks concepts of ecology and enlightenment, and outlines issues in environmental economics and political ecology, with brisk clarity." Environmental Valuesshow more

About Tim Hayward

Tim Hayward is a lecturer in the Department of Politics, University of more

Table of contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction: Environmental Values in Social and Political Thought. 1. Ecology and Enlightenment. 2. The Ethics of Ecological Humanism. 3. Environmental Economics, Sustainable Development and Political Ecology. 4. Rights and Justice in Ecological Perspective. 5. Ecological Politics. Afterword: Ecological Enlightenment. Notes. Bibliography. more

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