Contents

 

I.   Ethics and Nature

1.   Is There an Ecological Ethic?
2.   Can and Ought we to Follow Nature?
3.   Philosophical Aspects of the Environment
4.   The River of Life: Past, Present, and Future

II.   Values in Nature

5. Values in Nature
6. Are Values in Nature Subjective or Objective?
7. Values Gone Wild

III.   Environmental Philosophy in Practice

8.   Just Environmental Business
9.   Valuing Wildlands
10.  Duties to Endangered Species

IV.   Nature in Experience

11.   Lake Solitude: The Individual in Wildness
12.   Meditation at the Precambrian Contact
13.   Farewell, Washington County
14.   Nature and Human Emotions
15.   The Pasqueflower



Critical Notice of Philosophy Gone Wild


J. Baird Callicott (Philosophy, University North Texas, Denton), says, "Along with a handful of other mavericks, Holmes Rolston created the whole new field of environmental ethics in philosophy. This collection of his essays bids fair to become an historical watershed for the future." (Book endorsement). "Rolston stands tall, among a handful of other environmental philosophers, in holding, without qualification, that intrinsic value actually exists objectively in nature." ("Rolston on Intrinsic Value: A Deconstruction," Environmental Ethics 14(1992):129-143)

F. E. Bernard, in a review in Ethics, says, that in Philosophy Gone Wild Rolston is "a pioneering environmental ethicist. ...Each section highlights Rolston's best thinking and writing, including his seminal Ethics paper, `Is There an Ecological Ethic?' and the stirring essay on the pasqueflower from Natural History. ... Rolston's writing often evokes the best of American philosophy of nature. He writes with flair and grace. The book is good reading because it is good literature. ... Rolston raises unsettling questions about man's rightful place in the ecosystem (and presents) a formidable challenge. The agenda is well set in Philosophy Gone Wild." (Ethics 98[1988]:903-904)

Erazim Kohák (Philosophy, Boston University, Philosophical Faculty, Charles University, Prague): Philosophy Gone Wild is "a collection of essays by arguably the most important living ecophilosopher. ... Rolston is a pure joy to read" (p. 198). "When philosophical thought seeks to define a problem clearly and casts about for solutions ... I cherish Schweitzer and Leopold, Rolston and Callicott..." (p. 158). "Holmes Rolston, III, analyzes this problem with surgical precision ...." (p. 175). "Essential reading here is Holmes Rolston, III's excellent analysis of the meanings of the term `nature,' and of alleged returns thereto" (p. 180). (The Green Halo: A Bird's Eye View of Ecological Ethics [Chicago: Open Court, 2000])

Norman Care (Philosophy, Oberlin College), says "This text may be placed alongside Walden and A Sand County Almanac for its respect and appreciation of nature, and for its expression of the ethical intuitions which ground that respect and appreciation. But Rolston's work explores the philosophical lines of thought suggested by those intuitions in much more detailed ways than may be found in the earlier texts, and ... moves the quest for a clear expression of an ecological morality forward in a significant way. ... Philosophy Gone Wild combines the beauty of nature writing grounded in experience and observation with the rigor of philosophical argument fully informed by an understanding of the literature of ethical theory." (Environmental Crisis and Morality [Columbus, OH: Ohio Humanities Council, 1989])

Roderick S. French (Philosophy, and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at George Washington University) says that Rolston is "one of our most reliable and original philosophers of nature" with an "impressive, hard-won achievement" presenting "a unified argument for an ethic broadly grounded in a philosophical anthropology consistent with scientific ecology." (Science, Technology, and Human Values 12 (1987):151-153)

Arthur Kruckeberg (Botany, University of Washington), says, "This is a gem of a book! On nearly every page, one encounters eminently quotable passages--pithy aphorisms, metaphors on environmental ethics. ... There is much substance in this book." (Douglasia, Newsletter of the Washington Native Plant Society 11, no. 3, 1987), page 12)

Roderick Nash (History and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara) says of Philosophy Gone Wild: "On the cutting edge of environmental ethics for more than a decade, Rolston supplies a vital mix of humanistic and scientific dimensions to the understanding of wilderness, and, more importantly, to its defense. We are presently making irrevocable decisions about the future of wilderness on this plant. Professor Rolston will help us to make them wisely." (Book endorsement)

Richard G. Botzler and Susan J. Armstrong (Wildlife Biology, Philosophy, Humboldt State University): Rolston is "a major creative force in the development of environmental ethics," in Philosophy Gone Wild. (Pages 71-86 in Botzler and Armstrong, eds., Environmental Ethics: Convergence and Divergence, 2nd ed. [Boston: McGraw Hill, 1998], on p. 71)

Tom Regan (Philosophy, North Carolina State University) says, "Philosophy Gone Wild will command a wide audience, and its publication is a major event in the field of environmental ethics. Rolston is a very important, productive, and influential thinker. His is a visionary voice. Few minds so admirably combine the force of intellect and the power of emotion." (Book endorsement)

Robert Elliot (Philosophy, University of New England, Armidale, Australia): Philosophy Gone Wild is "a powerful statement of an environmental ethic, ... a fine contribution to environmental ethics and should be taken seriously by all who have an interest in the area." (Canadian Philosophical Reviews 7, no. 8 [1987]: 319-322)

Eugene C. Hargrove (Philosophy, University of Georgia, Editor, Environmental Ethics) says, "This collection, by one of the two or three most important writers in the field of environmental ethics today, begins with Rolston's early ground-breaking essay and advances through the body of his seminal work on natural value. The closing essays on the experience of nature are not only good philosophy but good literature as well." (Book endorsement)

Peter Miller (Philosophy, University of Winnipeg) says of Rolston's work, "There is no more powerful portrait of the human emotional, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual potential to be found in nature than his writings. See his Philosophy Gone Wild." (Dialogue 28[1989]:183-202)

Anthony Weston (Philosophy, Elon College), says, "Rolston is one of the few environmental philosophers whose work spans natural history on the one hand and ethics on the other, and often combines the two into almost a kind of poetry." (p. 117, Toward Better Problems: New Perspectives on Abortion, Animal Rights, the Environment, and Justice (Philadelphia: Temple University Press)

Frank B. Golley (Director, Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia) says, "In this age of speculation, few books combine such depth of knowledge in a variety of difficult disciplines and field experience in wild places." (Book endorsement)

Allen Carlson (Philosophy, University of Alberta): Philosophy Gone Wild is "an essential volume for anyone even remotely interested in environmental philosophy, ... "an excellent discussion and documentation of ... the environmental turn in philosophy." (Environmental Ethics 8(1986):163-177)

Michael Ruse (Philosophy, University of Guelph): Philosophy Gone Wild is "most challenging" and "(Rolston's) collected essays are especially to be welcomed--not the least because Rolston knows how to write for normal people, and not merely for fellow academics." (Biology and Philosophy 2[1987]:117-122)

Allen Drengson (Philosophy, University of Victoria) says: "This book is a collection of outstanding, sensitive, insightful, deep and illuminating essays ... that is profoundly changing the philosophical landscape. ... Rolston writes with clarity and grace. His writing combines the depth of detail of the best phenomenological description, along with an analytical skill that is a mark of clarity and good sense." (The Trumpeter vol. 3, no. 4, 1986, p. 32)

Joseph R. Des Jardins (Philosophy, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN): Philosophy Gone Wild is "an original philosophical defense of an ecocentric ethics." (Environmental Ethics: An Introduction to Environmental Philosophy [Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1993], p. 195)

Richard B. Primack (Biology, Boston University): In Philosophy Gone Wild, "a leading environmental philosopher lays out the ethical arguments for preserving biological diversity." (Essentials of Conservation Biology [Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, 1993], p. 249, p. 540.

Lawrence M. Hinman (Philosophy, University of San Diego): Philosophy Gone Wild is "among the more important works in this area" of environmental philosophy. (Contemporary Moral Issues: Diversity and Consensus [Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1996], p. 556)

Jack Weir (Philosophy, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY): Philosophy Gone Wild is "the best defense of collective wholism." ("Kantian Wholism: Toward a Critical Environmental Ethic," Southwest Philosophical Studies 11[1989]:1-12) "The most thorough normative theory of environmental holism." ("An Argument for the Constitutive Goodness of the Natural Environment," Southwest Philosophy Review 10[1994]:165-175)

Joan S. Elbers (Environmental history, Montgomery College, Maryland): In Philosophy Gone Wild, Rolston's "probings of the cultural underpinnings of the naturalistic fallacy and his conviction that wild nature is both a generator and a repository of values appear as technical philosophic argument, as practical guidance for business people and government officials, and as personal response to solitude by a wilderness lake. The result is a fuller understanding of the intrinsic value of wilderness than could have been conveyed by sophisticated argument alone." (Changing Wilderness Values 1930-1990 [Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1991], on p. 80)

The Environmental Encyclopedia calls Rolston "the father of environmental ethics as a modern academic discipline." "Rolston has devoted his distinguished career to plausibly and meaningfully interpreting the natural world from a philosophical perspective and is regarded as one of the world's leading scholars on philosophical, scientific, and religious conceptions of nature. His work on values in nature ... was critical not only in establishing but also in shaping and defining the modern field of environmental philosophy." (Ann S. Causey)
   William P. Cunningham, Terence Ball, Terence H. Cooper, Eville Gorham, Malcolm T. Hepworth, and Alfred A. Marcus, eds. Environmental Encyclopedia    (Detroit, MI: Gale Research, Inc., 1994), pages 718-719. 2nd ed. (1998), pages 898-899. Environmental Encyclopedia, 3rd ed.. Vol 2, N-Z, pp. 1224-1225,    Bortman, Marci, Peter Brimblecombe, Mary Ann Cunningham, William P. Cunningham, and William Freedman, eds. (Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2003).

Richard L. Fern, Christian Ethics, Yale University, begins a seminal analysis of Christian attitudes toward nature by saying it is "Holmes Rolston ... on whose intellectual shoulders I have attempted to climb in my account" (Nature, God and Humanity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), p. xv).

John Clark, Philosophy, Loyola University, New Orleans, says: "The greatest contribution in this area has been made by Holmes Rolston, one of the most widely recognized and influential contemporary ecological philosophers." Organization and Environment 14(no. 4, 2002):432-442.