Read a Q&A about the book at the Colby Climate Project HERE!
Read a book review (Tokay, 2021) HERE!
Notes to the Introduction available HERE!
Proposes a nonanthropocentric reassessment of key themes and approaches in environmental philosophy.
In A World Not Made for Us, Keith R. Peterson provides a broad reassessment of the field of environmental philosophy, taking a fresh and critical look at three classical problems of environmentalism: the intrinsic value of nature, the need for an ecological worldview, and a new conception of the place of humankind in nature. He makes the case that a genuinely critical environmental philosophy must adopt an ecological materialist conception of the human, a pluralistic value theory that emphasizes the need for value prioritization, and a stratified categorial ontology that affirms the basic principle of human asymmetrical dependence on more-than-human nature. Integrating environmental ethics with the latest work in political ecology, Peterson argues it is important to understand that the world is not made for us, and that coming to terms with this fact is a condition for survival in future human and more-than-human communities of liberation and solidarity.
“This is one of the most important contributions to contemporary environmental philosophy, especially in the areas of value theory and political ecology. Peterson undertakes crucial inquiry into the theoretical priorities that are the necessary basis for a consistent and coherent ethical theory. He launches a powerful critique of both abstract idealist and reductionist tendencies in recent environmental thought and presents incisive and groundbreaking analysis of key issues such as the nature of moral virtue and the role of the social ethos. This work will do much to deepen and enrich the theoretical discussion of basic concepts in environmental philosophy.” — John P. Clark, author of Between Earth and Empire: From the Necrocene to the Beloved Community
“There simply isn’t a view like this argued for in the literature, certainly not with this degree of care and depth. I think this position is unique and the argument for it brings many different ideas together in ways not seen before. I expect this to make an important contribution to ongoing discussions of these issues in the literature.”–Anonymous publisher’s reviewer
A volume in the SUNY series in Environmental Philosophy and Ethics, Baird Callicott and John van Buren, editors.
State University of New York Press | www.sunypress.edu | September 2020 / 224 pages | ISBN 978-1-4384-7959-0
Translated, with Introduction and Notes, by Keith R. Peterson.
It is no exaggeration to say that of the early 20th century German philosophers who claimed to establish a new ontology, former neo-Kantian turned realist Nicolai Hartmann is the only one to have actually followed through. Ontology: Laying the Foundations is the first volume of his monumental four volume ontological work. Appearing in English for the first time, in it he outlines the tasks for contemporary ontology and his unique critical realist approach. The book deals with “what is insofar as it is,” and its four parts tackle traditional ontological assumptions and prejudices and traditional categories such as substance, thing, individual, whole, object, and phenomenon; a novel redefinition of existence and essence in terms of the ontological factors Dasein and Sosein and their interrelations; an analysis of modes of “givenness” and the ontological embeddedness of cognition in affective transcendent acts; and a discussion of the status of ideal being, including mathematical being, phenomenological essences, logical laws, values, and the interconnections between the ideal and real spheres. Hartmann’s work offers rich resources for those interested in overcoming the human-centeredness of much 20th century philosophy.