With Respect for Nature

Living as Part of the Natural World

By J. Claude Evans

Subjects: Ethics, Environmental Philosophy, Animal Rights
Series: SUNY series in Environmental Philosophy and Ethics
Paperback : 9780791464441, 314 pages, May 2005
Hardcover : 9780791464434, 314 pages, May 2005

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


PART I: R*E*S*P*E*C*T: Finding Out What It Means . . .
1 The Challenge of Animal Rights and Animal Liberation Philosophy

PART II: Albert Schweitzer: The Principle of Reverence for Life
2 Albert Schweitzer’s Philosophy of Reverence for Life
3 Critical Examination of Schweitzer’s Ethics of Reverence for Life

PART III: Paul Taylors Ethics of Respect for Nature
4 The Biocentric Ethics of Paul Taylor
5 Critical Analysis of Taylor’s Philosophy of Respect for Nature

PART IV: Respect for Nature and Biocentric Anthropocentrism
6 Biocentric Anthropocentrism
7 Toward a Philosophy of the Hunt

PART V: The Ethics of Catch and Release Fishing

8 Fishing for Fish versus Fishing for Pleasure: A. A. Luce and the Ethics of Catch and Release Fishing
9 The Practice of Catch and Release Fishing
APPENDIX: Faith, Reason, and Animal Welfare

Explores how humans can take the lives of animals and plants while maintaining a proper respect both for ecosystems and for those who live in them.


We eat, inevitably, at the expense of other living creatures. How can we take the lives of plants and animals while maintaining a proper respect for both ecosystems and the individuals who live in them—including ourselves? In this book philosopher J. Claude Evans challenges much of the accepted wisdom in environmental ethics and argues that human participation in the natural cycles of life and death can have positive moral value.

With a guide for the nonphilosophical reader, and set against the background of careful and penetrating critiques of Albert Schweitzer's principle of reverence for life and Paul Taylor's philosophy of respect for nature, Evans uses hunting and catch-and-release fishing as test cases in calling for a robust sense of membership in the natural world. The result is an approachable, existential philosophy that emphasizes the positive value of human involvement in natural processes in which life and death, giving and receiving, self and other are intertwined.

J. Claude Evans is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at Washington University and is the author of several books, including Strategies of Deconstruction: Derrida and the Myth of the Voice.