• 408 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • Price: $40.95
  • EAN: 9780877226284
  • Publication: Apr 1989
  • Price: $70.50
  • EAN: 9780877225010
  • Publication: Oct 1987
  • Price: $40.95
  • EAN: 9781439903919
  • Publication: Oct 1987

Environmental Ethics

Duties to and Values in the Natural World

Holmes Rolston, III
  • Holmes Rolston III, was been named the 2003 Templeton Prize laureate

Environmental Ethics is a systematic account of values carried by the natural world, coupled with an inquiry into duties toward animals, plants, species, and ecosystems. A comprehensive philosophy of nature is illustrated by and integrated with numerous actual examples of ethical decisions made in encounters with fauna and flora, endangered species, and threatened ecosystems. The ethics developed is informed throughout by ecological science and evolutionary biology, with attention to the logic of moving from what is in nature to what ought to be.

The ethical theory is applied in detail to social, public, and business policy. Written in an engaging style, using diagrams and figures as well as numerous case studies, Environmental Ethics prods the reader into concrete application and invites reader participation in the ethical discussions. The ethics concludes by exploring the historical experiences of personal residence in a surrounding environment. Here is an adventure into what it means to live as responsible human beings in the community of life on Earth.


"By refusing to be pulled toward either an economics-based or a biocentrist position, Rolston bridges an otherwise yawning gap between the two camps.... A model of the environmental thinking-and acting-required now and in the future."
Christian Science Monitor

"Rolston's incisive logic...poetic insights...and almost conversational style reassure the reader.... With luck, lots of people will accompany him on this journey, returning with ideas with which to launch sophisticated discussions of environmental ethics."
Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A brilliantly provocative challenge for us to think about how we should behave toward the environment. A required book for public and natural science collections."
Library Journal

"Rolston's work—worthy of becoming a classic itself—explores values from several points of view. The work is not a carefully structured argument, but a delightful series of insights and concrete examples leading to a new gestalt a unique groundbreaking work appropriate for all reader levels."

"A lucid introduction to environmental ethics that will be of value to scholars, students, and general readers. Environmental Ethics is packed with information and a good deal of wisdom obviously acquired through long experience."
Edward 0. Wilson, Harvard University

"Most insightful and poetic. We need...Rolston's wisdom."
Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Sierra

"Rolston's analysis is perceptive philosophy yet accessible to a general audience. His comprehensive scope, accurate references, examples given, and clarity of text make the book invaluable to students of environmental ethics in a very practical way.... Rolston clearly makes the case that we now find ourselves standing at an ethical threshold. . What a wonderful effort!"
David Hales, School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan

"This work is vintage Rolston, which is very good. He has a wonderful and intimate knowledge of matters environmental, which he again uses here in insightfully new ways.... Rolston shows the relevance of an environmental appreciation to fundamental matters of ethical theory. This book reads well, reads easily, reads enticingly."
Donald Scherer, Department of Philosophy, Bowling Green State University

About the Author(s)

Holmes Rolston, III, is Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University and the author of Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (Temple).

In the Series

Ethics and Action

No longer active.