The Ethics of Environmental Concern

Robin Attfield
Second Edition


"A welcome scholarly contribution . . . Not only philosophers but also natural and social scientists working on interdisciplinary environmental problems will benefit from reading the book."
Environmental Professional

"In this genre Attfield's study must be a front runner for an environmental Oscar. He successfully combines and interweaves philosophical argument with historical evaluation in an interesting and thought-provoking way, which loses nothing in depth of thought by being accessible to the ordinary non-specialist reader."
Third Way


First published in 1983, The Ethics of Environmental Concern has become a classic in the relatively new field of environmental ethics. Examining traditional attitudes toward nature, and the degree to which these attitudes enable us to cope with modern ecological problems, Robin Attfield looks particularly at the Judeo-Christian heritage of belief in humankind's dominion, the tradition of stewardship, and the more recent belief in progress to determine the extent to which these attitudes underlie ecological problems and how far they embody resources adequate for combating such problems. He then examines concerns of applied ethics and considers our obligations to future generations, the value of life, and the moral standing and significance of nonhumans. Simultaneously, he offers and defends a theory of moral principles appropriate for dealing with such concerns as pollution, scarce natural resources, population growth, and the conservation and preservation of the environment.

The second edition includes a new preface and introduction, as well as a bibliographic essay and an updated list of references incorporating relevant scholarship since the publication of the first edition.

Page count: 280 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $29.95

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Robin Attfield taught philosophy at Cardiff University from 1968 to 2009, and has been a professor of philosophy since 1991. He has also taught in Nigeria and Kenya, and was a National Research Fellow in the Republic of South Africa. Besides The Ethics of Environmental Concern, his books include Environmental Philosophy: Principles and Prospects; Value, Obligation and Meta-Ethics; The Ethics of the Global Environment; Environmental Ethics: An Overview for the Twenty-First Century; Creation, Evolution and Meaning; and The Ethics of the Environment. Recently he has retired from teaching, and has served on environmental ethics committees of UNESCO.