John Dewey and Environmental Philosophy

By Hugh P. McDonald

Subjects: American Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Philosophy and Ethics
Paperback : 9780791458747, 247 pages, November 2003
Hardcover : 9780791458730, 247 pages, November 2003

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Table of contents



1. Environmental Ethics and Intrinsic Value


The Setting of the Problem of Pragmatism and the Environment: The Critique of Pragmatism as an Environmental Ethics in Taylor, Bowers, Katz, and Weston

2. Dewey's Naturalism

3. Dewey's Instrumentalism

4. Dewey's (Moral) Holism

5. Dewey's Ethics as a Basis for Environmental Issues

EPILOGUE: Pragmatism and Environmental Ethics




A comprehensive look at how John Dewey's ethics can inform environmental issues.


Hugh P. McDonald's John Dewey and Environmental Philosophy breaks new ground by applying Dewey's insights to a new approach to philosophy of the environment; the concern for the rights of animals; the preservation of rare species, habitats, and landscapes; and the health of the whole ecology. The book summarizes much of the current literature on environmental ethics, concentrating on the writings of major figures in the movement: Tom Regan, J. Baird Callicott, Holmes Rolston, and Bryan Norton. The heart of the book consists of a detailed analysis of Dewey's ethics, his theory of intrinsic value, and his holistic approach to moral justification. Arguing against the idea that Dewey's philosophy is anthropocentric, McDonald makes a strong case that using Dewey's philosophy will result in a superior framework for environmental ethics.

Hugh P. McDonald teaches philosophy at New York City College of Technology (CUNY). He is the author of Political Philosophy and Ideology: A Critique of Political Essentialism.