Aristotle And Polluatuon

In all natural things there is something wonderful. The Greek philosopher and scientist, Aristotle, was born in Macedon, where his father was physician to the king. The son was himself to enter royal service as tutor of a future and more famous king, Alexander the Great a grateful pupil, if we credit the story that he instructed his far-flung subjects to provide Aristotle with specimens for his biological research. Much of his life, from 367 to 347 and again from 335 to 322, was spent in...

Gro Harlem Brundtland

Our message is directed towards people, whose well-being is the ultimate goal of all environment and development policies. Unless we are able to translate our words into a language that can reach the minds and hearts of people young and old, we shall not be able to undertake the extensive social changes needed to correct the course of development.1 Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland was born in Oslo, Norway, on 20 April 1939. At the age of 10 she moved with her family to the United States, where her...

Virgil

Then there are all the famous cities, laboriously built, all the towns piled up by human hand on sheer rocks, with rivers gliding beneath their ancient walls. Shall I mention the Adriatic and the Tuscan seas Or the great lakes you, Como the greatest lake, and you, lake Garda, whose rising waves imitate the roar of the sea Or shall I mention the harbours, and the dykes imposed on the Lucrine lake, and the sea crashing out its indignation .This same land brings forth from her veins streams of...

Edward Osborne Wilson

When the century began, people could still think of themselves as transcendent beings, dark angels confined to Earth awaiting redemption by either soul or intellect. Now most or all of the relevant evidence from science points in the opposite direction that having been born into the natural world and evolved there step by step across millions of years, we are bound to the rest of life in our ecology, physiology, and even our spirit. In this sense, the way in which we view the natural world,...

Contributors

Allaby, Michael is an author, based in Argyll, Scotland. Barry, John is Reader in the School of Politics, the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Barsam, Ara is D.Phil. student in the Faculty of Theology, Oxford University, England. Bilimoria, Purushottama is Associate Professor in the School of Social Inquiry, Deakin University, Australia, and continuing Visiting Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Browne, Janet is Reader in the History of Biology at the...

Mahatma Gandhi

The next step should not be destructive agriculture but the planting of plenty of fruit trees and other vegetation.1 Although Gandhi has become a household name, the lean, saintly looking bespectacled son of India who took on the British Empire with his sharp wit and prolific pen is better known for his ethics of non-violence and truth-force than for his environmental philosophy. However, just as leaders of non-violent civil rights movements across the globe attribute their inspiration to...

Karl Marx

The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of nature's forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground what earlier century had even a presentiment that such...

Albert Schweitzer

Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He The publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962 is frequently regarded as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. It was to Albert Schweitzer that Carson dedicated the work, and she opened her text using his above words. 'In terms of intellectual achievement and practical morality', Schweitzer has been described as 'probably the noblest figure of the twentieth century.'2 Born in 1875, he was brought up at Gunsbach in...

John Muir

In God's wildness lies the hope of the world.The great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and words heal ere we are aware.1 Of his beloved wild Sierra, John Muir wrote, 'mountains as holy as Sinai .they are given, like the gospel, without money and without price. 'Tis heaven alone that is given away.'2 Like the mountain creatures he so admired, ranging from prophets of old to grizzly bears, Muir was the mountain embodied 'I am hopelessly and...

Martin Heidegger

Man is the shepherd of Martin Heidegger was born on 26 September 1889 in the village of Messkirch in southern Germany. After an abortive training for the Roman Catholic priesthood, he studied philosophy at Freiburg University from 1919 as assistant to the renowned philosopher, Edmund Husserl. His reputation as an incisive and radical thinker was sealed in 1927 with the publication of his magnum opus, Being and Time. His reputation as a man, on the other hand, was...

Henry David Thoreau

The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World.1 No doubt there would have been an environmental movement without Thoreau, but it is hard to imagine such a movement without the rhetorical fire of his words or the inspirational force of his actions. It was Thoreau's ability to embody his actions in powerful and incisive language that made them resonate so widely most famously, his one-night...

Benedict Spinoza

The highest good is .the knowledge of the union that the mind has with the whole of Nature.1 Spinoza was born in Amsterdam in 1632, the son of Jewish emigrants from Portugal his father was a merchant and a respected member of the Jewish community's board of elders. Spinoza was brought up in the orthodox fashion, studying Hebrew, Holy Scripture and the Talmud. It is possible to trace the various cultural influences in his life through his choice of first name, from Bento Portuguese to Baruch...

Peter Singer

If it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance, we ought to do it.1 Peter Singer has been described as having more positive influence on the world than any other living philosopher.2 His book Animal Liberation has been translated into fifteen languages, sold half a million copies, and is known as the Bible of the Animal Liberation Movement. Practical Ethics, published in eight languages, was named one of...

Vandana Shiva

Biotechnology, as the hand-maiden of capital in the postindustrial era, makes it possible to colonise and control that which is autonomous, free and self-regenerative. Through reductionist science, capital goes where it has never been before. The fragmentation of reductionism opens up areas for exploitation and invasion .It is in this sense that the seed and women's bodies as sites of regenerative power are, in the eyes of capitalist patriarchy, among the last colonies.1 Born in the green...

Jbaird Callicott

There is no survival value in pessimism. A desperate optimism is the only attitude that a practical environmental philosopher can assume.1 For the past three decades John Baird Callicott has argued that philosophy and ethics lie at the root of our global environmental problems. He has steadfastly clung to a 'desperate optimism' that philosophy and ethics can both elucidate and help resolve these problems Although an ethic, whether environmental or social, is never perfectly realized in...

Wang Yangming

Man is the mind of the universe at bottom Heaven and Earth and all things are my body. Is there any suffering or bitterness of the masses that is not disease and pain in my own body Those who are not aware of disease and pain in their body are people without the sense of right and wrong. The sense of right and wrong is knowledge possessed by men without deliberation and ability possessed by them without their having acquired it by learning. It is what we call innate knowledge liang-chih 1 Wang...

Murray Bookchin

Social ecology advances a message that calls not only for a society free of hierarchy and hierarchical sensibilities, but for an ethics that places humanity in the natural world as an agent for rendering evolution social and natural fully self-conscious and as free as possible .We stand at a cross-roads of conflicting pathways either we will surrender to a mindless irrationalism that mystifies social evolution .or we will regain the activism, that is denigrated today, and turn the world into an...

Aldo Leopold

If the individual has a warm personal understanding of the land, he will perceive of his own accord that it is something other than a breadbasket. He will see land as a community of which he is only a member He will see the beauty as well as the utility of the whole, and know that the two cannot be separated. We love and make intelligent use of what we have learned to understand.1 Aldo Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa, in 1887, the eldest of Carl and Clara's four children, an American...

Arne Naess

If you hear a phrase like 'all life is fundamentally one ', you must be open to tasting this, before asking immediately 'what does this mean '. Being more precise does not necessarily create something that is more inspiring'.1 Since the early 1970s, when he introduced the expression 'deep ecology', Arne Naess has been the most influential of living environmental philosophers, his voice heard well beyond the confines of academic discussion. Born in Norway in 1912, Naess was Professor of...

Jeanjacques Rousseau

Man's proper study is that of his relation to his environment .this is the business of his whole life.1 Born in Geneva, Rousseau was raised by his aunt and eccentric watchmaker father, who instilled in him an abiding love of literature, especially classical. After an unstable childhood and several years as a vagabond, Rousseau moved in 1743 to Paris, where he met Diderot and other philosophes involved in the great Encyclop die, ou Dictionnaire Raison e, for which he contributed an article on...

Purushottama Bilimoria

All the fish needs is to get lost in water. All man needs is The two most famous and enduring works of philosophical Taoism, both composed during the classical period of Chinese thought c. 500-200 BCE , are the Tao Te Ching or Dao De Jing and the Chuang Tzu or Zhuang Zi . They are works, moreover, in which subsequent generations, right down to the present, have claimed to find an enlightened attitude towards the natural world, a 'doctrine of harmony with the natural environment'.2 Traditionally...

Holmes Rolston

Holmes Rolston III is widely recognized as the 'father' of environmental ethics as an academic discipline. Although others planted seeds before Rolston, theirs were mainly inspirational. More so than any other, he has shaped the essential nature, scope and issues of the discipline. Throughout Rolston's many books and articles, he holds that intrinsic value entails duties. In Environmental Ethics, he states Duties arise to the individual animals and plants that are produced as loci of intrinsic...

John Ruskin

Building a city fit for people to live in Ruskin wrote means 'remedial action in the houses that we have and then the building of more, strongly, beautifully, and in groups of limited extent, kept in proportion to their streams, and walled round, so that there may be no festering and wretched suburb anywhere, but clean and busy street within, and the open country without, with a belt of beautiful garden and orchard round the walls, so that from any part of the city perfectly fresh air and...

Francis Bacon

Human knowledge and human power meet in one for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.1 Bacon was a politician, jurist, royal councillor, natural scientist and essay writer, who spent his entire life within the highest political, courtly and intellectual circles around Queen Elizabeth and King James I. His maternal uncle, Lord Burghley, was the most powerful...

James Lovelock

The idea that the Earth is alive is at the outer bounds of scientific credibility. I started to think and then to write about it in my early fifties. I was just old enough to be radical without the taint of senile deliquency.1 It is an idea that has absorbed James Lovelock for more than thirty years, the idea that is encapsulated in the name 'Gaia'. The name itself was suggested by the novelist William Golding, a friend and at one time a neighbour, in the course of one of the long walks the two...

Frank Lloyd Wright

What, then, is architecture It is man in possession of his earth. It is the only true record of him .While he was true to earth his architecture was creative.1 Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect whose early designs were the catalyst for the emergence of Modern architecture around 1900, and whose seventy-two-year career has been the single greatest influence on the architecture of the twentieth century. Today, forty years after his death, Wright is the most famous architect in the...

Efschumacher

The fight against pollution cannot be successful if the patterns of production and consumption continue to be of a scale, a complexity, and a degree of violence which, as is becoming more and more apparent, do not fit into the laws of the universe, to which man is just as much subject as the rest of creation.1 Schumacher was working on his ideas at a time when the dominant ideology was 'the bigger the better'. Large institutions, multinational corporations, industrial mergers, unlimited...

Val Plumwood

The logic of domination and the deep structures of dualism create 'blind spots' in the dominant culture's understanding of its relationship to the biosphere, understandings which deny dependency and community to an even greater degree than in the case of human society. The distorted perceptions and mechanisms of denial which arise from the master rationality are an important reason why the dominant culture which embodies this identity in relation to nature cannot respond adequately to the...

John Passmore

T he title of this book Man's Responsibility for Nature is often misquoted, as man's responsibility to, rather than for, nature. The difference is fundamental. 'Nature' is not a pseudo-person, to whom human beings are responsible .Human beings are responsible only for nature. The Australian philosopher and historian of ideas, John Passmore, published the pioneering book referred to in the above passage in 1974. A decade later it could still be described as 'the one authoritative treatment of...

William Wordsworth

Nature never did betray The heart that loved her.1 The name William Wordsworth is almost synonymous with 'nature poet' and with the landscape of the English Lake District paradoxically, Wordsworth is also the 'poet of the self' of the inner landscape . Indeed, when Wordsworth writes, 'Nature never did betray The heart that loved her', we see him draw together his sense of external nature both as a ministering agent, one ministering 'to' the self, and as a patient recipient of the responses of...

Thomas Robert Malthus

I think that I may fairly make two postulata. First, That food is necessary to the existence of man. Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will remain nearly in its present state. Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acqaintance...

Rudolf Bahro

To bring it down to the basic concept, we must build up areas liberated from the industrial system. That means, liberated from nuclear weapons and from supermarkets. What we are talking about is a new social formation and a new civilisation.1 Rudolf Bahro was a communist dissident, an early member of the German Greens and a leading proponent of spiritual green political thought and action. Bahro originally became well known as the author of The Alternative in Eastern Europe, which he wrote...

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson once penned in his Journals, 'Right is a conformity to the laws of nature so far as they are known to the human mind',1 against which we can set as a retort John Stuart Mill, 'Conformity to nature has no connection whatever with right and wrong'.2 Mill is emphatic about humans and their achievements 'All praise of Civilization, or Art, or Contrivance, is so much dispraise of Nature'.3 Emerson demurs, with characteristic poetic vigour 'In their vaunted works of Art, The...

Chico Mendes

My dream is to see this entire forest conserved because we know that it can guarantee the future of all the people who live in it___If a messenger from heaven came down and guaranteed me that my death would help to strengthen our struggle it would even be worth it. But experience teaches us the opposite .I want to live.1 Francisco 'Chico' Alves Mendes Filho, man of courage, words and deeds, hero of the rubber tappers of the Amazon, played a major role in the transformation of the landscape of...

Robinson Jeffers

Robinson Jeffers' statement in 1928 that 'I'd sooner, except for the penalties, kill a man than a hawk' startled the reading public with a different understanding of human significance in the world.1 Twenty years later, Jeffers labelled his philosophy 'inhumanism', which he defined as 'a shifting of emphasis and significance from man to notman the rejection of human solipsism and recognition of the transhuman magnificence'.2 After stunning initial success, Jeffers found that his high regard for...

Peter Blaze Corcoran

What people do about their ecology depends on what they think about themselves in relation to things around them.1 Lynn Townsend White, Jr was born in San Francisco, California, on 29 April 1907. After his academic training at the finest schools in the USA,2 his first academic post was at Princeton University from 1933 to 1937. In 1938 he joined the faculty of his alma mater, Stanford, and remained there until 1943. From 1944 until 1957 Lynn White served as President of Mills College, a women's...

Frederick Law Olmsted

The dominant and justifying purpose of Central Park was conceived to be that of permanently affording, in the densely populated central portion of an immense metropolis, a means to certain kinds of REFRESHMENT OF THE MIND AND NERVES which most city dwellers greatly need and which they are known to derive in large measure from the enjoyment of suitable scenery.1 The special value of the Central Park to the city of New York will lie in its comparative largeness. There are certain kinds of beauty...

Michel De Montaigne

When I am playing with my cat, who can know whether she is not amusing herself with me, rather than I with her 1 Montaigne is the most congenial of intellectual companions. He was an exceptionally well-educated member of the local gentry, who spent most of his life on his estate near Bordeaux. A trained lawyer, he served two terms as mayor of Bordeaux and was a minor player on the national political stage, at a period when France was ravaged by religious civil war of unparalleled savagery. In...

Susan Griffin

We know ourselves to be made from this earth. We know this earth is made from our bodies. For we see ourselves. And we are nature. We are nature seeing nature. We are nature with a concept of nature .Nature speaking of nature to nature.1 Contemporary feminist poet Susan Griffin, who began writing at the age of 14, has published more than fifteen books of poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction on subjects ranging from rape and pornography to war, eros and illness. She has received many book...

Preface On Natural Environment

This book is intended to be a valuable resource for readers with an interest in 'influential lives' relating to critical thinking and action which has influenced the environmental movement, and in the intellectual history of environmental philosophy and related fields. Each essay follows a common format. An opening quotation sets the scene, then readers are provided with an overview of the subject's work and basic biographical information. Each author then engages in critical reflection which...

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The alarming increase in machines torments and frightens me, they are rolling down upon us like a thunderstorm, slowly, slowly, but they are on their way, they will come upon us.1 The Germany into which Goethe was born on 28 August 1749 was a pre-industrial collection of statelets. By his death on 22 March 1832 this pre-eminent genius, a poet, dramatist, novelist, artist, critic, lawyer, civil servant, statesman and scientist, had lived through a period which took Germany to the very threshold...

John Clare

F ields were the essence of the song1 John Clare, the self-styled 'Northamptonshire Peasant Poet', was a poet of the 'fields' in more ways than one he himself laboured in the fields he wrote of the life of field hands he was a superb field naturalist he lived through and lamented the loss of the old sustainable open-field system of agriculture he celebrated the ecology of fields, considered not only as sites of agricultural production but as habitats homes of mutually dependent plants and...

Black Elk Environment

Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours.1 Black Elk was born in 1862 on the banks of the Little Powder River, a tributary of the Yellowstone River in what is now the state of Wyoming. Then it was in the westernmost territory of the Lakota. Black Elk belonged to the Oglala Band. His father and grandfather both also named Black Elk were medicine men. He followed them in this calling. Black Elk was born into a world radically different from the one in which he...

Anna Botsford Comstock

In order to appreciate truly his farm, the farmer must needs begin as a child with nature-study in order to be successful and make the farm pay, he must needs continue in nature-study and to make his declining years happy, content, full of wide sympathies and profitable thought, he must needs conclude with nature-study for nature-study is the alphabet of agriculture and no word in that great vocation may be spelled without it.1 A serious agricultural depression in the north-eastern United...

Paul Ehrlich

'Nothing less is at stake than the fate of human civilization'1 is Paul Ehrlich's motto both now and for much of his academic career. Of all the fields of the natural sciences, it might be expected that biology might produce the most thinkers on environmental matters, and the entry on Aldo Leopold is another example of this. But of all the recent post-1960 contributors to the provision of information and to participation in public debate, Ehrlich is the most prominent. Born in 1932, he took his...

Rabindranath Tagore

I still remember the very moment, one afternoon, when I .suddenly saw in the sky .an exuberance of deep, dark clouds lavishing rich, cool shadows on the atmosphere. The marvel of it .gave me a joy which was freedom, the freedom we feel in the love of our friend.1 Rabindranath Tagore was a great poet and profound thinker. He was born in Calcutta on 6 May 1861. He belonged to a family which is the most gifted in Bengal in the realm of religion, philosophy, literature, music and painting. Although...

Rachel Carson

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species man acquired significant power to alter the nature of this world. The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials. This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible. In this now...

Fifty Key Thinkers On The Environment

Edited by Joy A.Palmer Advisory Editors David E.Cooper and Peter Blaze Corcoran First published 2001 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor amp Francis Group This edition published in the Taylor amp Francis e-Library, 2003. 2001 selection and editorial matter, Joy A.Palmer individual entries, the contributors All rights reserved. No part of this...