Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy

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9780028661407: Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy
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*Starred Review* It seems fitting that the two volumes in this set start with entries for Edward Abbey and Wes Jackson, men who spoke for appropriate and ethical interaction with nature. Abbey espoused the value of wildness for its own sake, and Jackson continues to work for agriculture that complements natural ecosystems. Here, they are the lead-ins to a wealth of information, both deep and broad. As stated in the introduction, “Environmental philosophy is bursting through conventional disciplinary boundaries,” and the encyclopedia reflects this “dedisciplining” by offering a wide range of perspectives. Entries include not only the topics one might expect (Aquifers, Bhopal, Ecotourism, Sierra Club) but other subjects, such as religion (Jainism) and art (Hudson River school). There are also brief biographies of poets (Robinson Jeffers), activists (Vandana Shiva), scientists (Paul Ehrlich), philosophers (Murray Bookchin), and others. The purpose is to provide “succinct accounts of the core values and issues surrounding humanity’s relationship to the natural world.” The 321 scholarly, accessible, and thought-provoking signed entries are the products of an impressive array of scholars. The 10 primary sources (from Aldo Leopold’s 1949 essay “The Land Ethic” to the Earth Charter of 2000) at the end of volume 2 are required reading about environmental ethics and add value to this already impressive work. The glossary defines related terms (Biopiracy, Synecology) that did not earn a complete entry but are important and applicable. In addition to the bibliographies provided with each entry, there is an annotated bibliography of selected works along with a referral to the comprehensive bibliography on the International Society of Environmental Ethics’ Web site. The 28 categories in the thematic outline direct users to general groupings, while the see and see also references widen the relationships among entries. This is an encyclopedia that invites reading, from its introduction to the primary sources. It is more than a reference work and should be in every library providing content on the issues confronting humanity. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries. Also available as an e-book. --Linda Scarth

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