Thinking (Philosophically) about Nature

Photo Credit: BrainyQuote.

In this post, you will find a number of resources to help you think about (and perhaps reconsider) humankind’s relationship to/with Nature.

Environmental Ethics

“The recent development of the branch of philosophy called ‘environmental philosophy’, or as it is sometimes referred to, ‘environmental ethics’, has been characterized by a variety of theoretical disputes about the best way to provide a philosophical basis for engagement with the environmental problems facing us, now and in the future.” (Read more: Philosophy Now)

“The field of environmental ethics concerns human beings’ ethical relationship with the natural environment.” (Read more: Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

“Environmental ethics is the discipline in philosophy that studies the moral relationship of human beings to, and also the value and moral status of, the environment and its non-human contents.” (Read more: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The Earth Charter

Preamble: “We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.” (Read more: The Earth Charter)

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (Charles Darwin)

Biography of Darwin on Wikipedia.

For a basic explanation of the common misconceptions about evolution see the article written by Paula Kover at The Conversation and this short YouTube Video by SciShow.

Get the free ebook version of The Origin from Project Gutenberg.

Nature (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Biography of Emerson on Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

For a general introduction to the life and work of Emerson see the entry by The Book of Life.

Get the free ebook version of Nature from Project Gutenberg.

Walden (Henry David Thoreau)

Biography of Thoreau on Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

For a general introduction to the life and work of Thoreau see the entry by The Book of Life.

Get the free ebook version of Walden from Project Gutenberg (this version also includes Thoreau’s “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience”).

Wilderness Essays (John Muir)

Biography of Muir by the Sierra Club.

Buy the book: SA | Intl.

A Sand County Almanac (Aldo Leopold)

Biography of Leopold by The Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Buy the book: SA | Intl.

Silent Spring (Rachel Carson)

Biography of Carson by the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.

Articles dealing with select criticisms of Carson’s work written by Dr. David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine and Emil Karlsson at Debunking Denialism.

For general introductions to Carson’s life and work see the article written by Eliza Griswold and the entry on The Book of Life website.

Buy the book: SA | Intl.