Literature/1974/Passmore

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Passmore, John (1974). Man's Responsibility for Nature: Ecological Problems and Western Traditions. Gerald Duckworth & Co.

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  • w: John Passmore
    In his book ... Passmore argued that there is urgent need to change our attitude to the environment, and that humans cannot continue unconstrained exploitation of the biosphere. However, he rejected the view that we need to abandon the Western tradition of scientific rationalism, and was unsympathetic towards attempts to articulate environmental concern through radical revisions of our ethical framework, as advocated by deep ecologists, which he conceived as misguided mysticism or irrationalism. Passmore's unequivocal anthropocentrism made him a reference point in the discourse of environmental ethics and many treatises in the field begin with (or include) a refutation of his views. Passmore's skepticism about attempts to attribute intrinsic value to nature, and his preferred position of valuing nature in terms of what it contributes to the flourishing of sentient creatures (including humans), is perhaps not as unfashionable now as it was in the years following the publication of Man's Responsibility for Nature. Passmore described himself as a "pessimistic humanist" who regarded neither human beings nor human societies as perfectible.

ReviewsEdit

  • Declan Rice (2002). "Passmore's compelling case for 'conservation'," November 17, 2002, Amazon.com. [1]

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