Offers a unified vision for approaching human ethical responses to what science is telling us about the crises facing our environment and climate.
Toward Environmental Wholeness proposes a new understanding of environmental wholeness that is needed to address the ethical challenges posed by environmental and climate crises. Relying on the studies of numerous historians, Patrick H. Byrne traces the complex developments in environmental and climate change sciences and how they have posed complex ethical challenges. Drawing upon the thought of Bernard Lonergan, he shows how seemingly contradictory contributions from diverse ethical traditions can be brought together into a framework for responding to what the developing sciences are telling us about our current situation and evaluating our realistic options. Byrne reveals how the limitations of a utilitarian approach to environmental ethics had to be expanded into more holistic approaches and the difficulties those approaches encountered—especially the Romantic notions of a pristine, unchanging nature to be preserved and humans as alien. Environmental and climate change sciences have revealed the complex, dynamic natural and human systems that now call for a more dynamic vision of the whole as the basis for environmental ethics. The book also examines how the initiatives of Pope Francis' Laudato si' and the United Nations' Strategic Development Goals are responding to these challenges.
Patrick H. Byrne is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Boston College. He is the author of Analysis and Science in Aristotle, also published by SUNY Press.
"Toward Environmental Wholeness makes a unique and distinctive contribution, bridging two areas generally treated in isolation: history/philosophy of science and history/philosophy of environmental ethics. At the same time, Byrne's writing style is wonderfully clear and accessible, understandable to even a general audience despite the complexity of the ideas being presented." — James R. Skillen, author of This Land is My Land: Rebellion in the West