Advertisement

Introduction: The Idea of Ecology

  • David R. KellerEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Global Justice book series (JUST, volume 19)

Abstract

The idea of ecology rests on three fundamental assumptions: that (1) living nature has some sort of structure explained by rules or laws; (2) these laws are discoverable through empirical observation; and (3) humans are morally culpable for harm they do to nonhuman nature, and thereby also to other humans. Each fundamental principle has roots in ancient Greek philosophy. Over time they have produced several distinct disciplinary forms that collectively constitute the idea of ecology. The central thesis of this book is that ecology has implications for environmental ethics. The argument posits Scientific Ecology as a reliable source of descriptions of biotic communities for prescriptions regarding human treatment of biotic communities. The exegesis begins with the contextualization of the idea of ecology in the Western intellectual tradition, which provides the framework for an analysis of the basic philosophical issues of the science of ecology, including ethical implications. Scientific ecology and ecological justice are intimately connected: the way that the world is has much to do with the way that the world should be.

References

  1. Beddie, A.D. 1942. Natural Root Graphs in New Zealand Trees. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 71: 199–203.Google Scholar
  2. Darwin, Charles. 2001. The Voyage of the Beagle. New York: Modern Library.Google Scholar
  3. Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1987. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  4. DeWoody, Jennifer, Carol A. Rowe, Valerie D. Hipkins, and Karen E. Mock. 2008. Pando Lives: Molecular Genetic Evidence of a Giant Aspen Clone in Central Utah. Western North American Naturalist 68 (4): 493–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Glacken, Clarence J. 1967. Traces on the Rhodian Shore: Nature and Culture in Western Thought from Ancient Times to the End of the Eighteenth Century. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  6. Grant, Michael C. 1993. The Trembling Giant: The Quaking Aspen, One of This Country’s Most Beautiful Trees, Also Makes Up the World’s Most Massive Organism. Discover 14 (10) (October): 82–89.Google Scholar
  7. Liddell, Henry G., and Robert Scott. 1968. A Greek-English Lexicon. Two Volumes. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  8. McIntosh, Robert P. 1985. The Background of Ecology: Concept and Theory. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Stern, Kingsley R. 2000. Introductory Plant Biology, 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  10. von Humboldt, Alexander. 1997. Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Salt Lake CityUSA

Personalised recommendations