Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction
Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction
  • Explains the origins of environmental ethics as a field
  • Explores the ethics of key issues today, such as climate change, species and habitat loss, and pollution
  • Relates real life environmental judgements to prevailing ethical theories
  • Considers the relationship between debates on sustainability and UN Sustainable Development Goals, and shows how discussions about the environmental role of religion can issue in a constructive form of responsible stewardship

Environmental ethics is a relatively new branch of philosophy, which studies the values and principles involved in combatting environmental problems such as pollution, loss of species and habitats, and climate change. As our environment faces evermore threats from human activities these core issues are becoming increasingly important.

In this Very Short Introduction Robin Attfield traces the origins of environmental ethics as a discipline, and considers how it defends the independent value of living creatures, and the need to make decisions informed by the needs and interests of future generations. Exploring the diverse approaches to ethical decisions and judgements, he highlights the importance of making processes of production and consumption sustainable and of addressing human population levels, together with policies for preserving species, sub-species, and their habitats. Along the way Attfield discusses different movements such as Deep Ecology, Social Ecology, the Environmental Justice movement and the Green movement, and also considers the attitudes to the environment of the world's religions, including the approach from the major religions and the contributions of the indigenous religions of Asia, Africa and North America. Analysing the current threat of climate change, and proposals for climate engineering, he demonstrates how responsibility for the environment ultimately lies with us all, from states and corporations to individuals, and emphasises how concerted action is required to manage our environment ethically and sustainably.


1: Origins
2: Some key concepts
3: Future generations
4: Principles for right action
5: Sustainability and preservation
6: Social and political movements
7: Environmental ethics and religion
8: The ethics of climate change
Further Reading


Robin Attfield, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Cardiff University
Robin Attfield was appointed Lecturer in Philosophy at (what is now) Cardiff University in 1968, and became a Professor in 1991. He has participated in the Environmental Ethics Working Party of UNESCO, and has served on the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and on the Committee of the Aristotelian Society. Robin is the author of sixteen books, including The Ethics of Environmental Concern (1983 and 1991), Ethics: An Overview (2012), The Ethics of the Global Environment (1999 and 2015), and Wonder, Value and God (2017), and has contributed to several journals.

"As a primer for academic environmental ethics, Robin Attfield's Very Short Introduction offers a succinct tour through its history and many of its arguments... Attfield also includes at the end a helpful list of further reading which provides additional resources to supplement each chapter." - Caleb Gordon, University of Manchester, Modern Believing

"This book is an engaging, accessible book, one that both academics from various disciplines and environmental ethicists will appreciate and benefit from; it offers something of value for everyone who hopes to contribute to a socially and environmentally sustainable and peaceful world." - Robin Attfield, The Philosophical Quarterly

"Environmental Ethics offers an entertaining, concise, and genuinely enlightening means to commence one's engagement with the subject." - Nicole Souter, The Philosopher

"This short introduction is particularly timely and I would recommend it to anyone not yet familiar with environmental ethics and even to those more knowledgeable of the field. It is truly impressive how Attfield manages to so succinctly condense such large issues into such a short book." - Linnea Luuppala, Ethical Perspectives

"This very readable book is a survey of the wide range of questions that faces anyone who thinks seriously about our environment and the future of our planet... Everyone interested in the environment and the possibility of impending catastrophe should read [it]." - Alan York, The Friend
"The great achievement of Attfield's Attfields book is to demonstrate that there is a coherent, intuitively plausible, and useful conception of inclusive environmental protection... The book will be of interest to students taking courses in environmental ethics, but also to students who are taking philosophy and geography, and to people of other professions engaged with the environment." - Wilson J. Simon, UTAFITI

"Attfield's new book confirms him as one of the most eloquent voices in present-day environmental ethics. It combines philosophical depth with extreme readability and makes a suggestive case for an ethics that pays tribute to the value of non-human nature." - Dieter Birnbacher

"Surprise! Attfield can write a very concise introduction to environmental ethics with all the precision already shown in his dozen full length works." - Holmes Rolston III, Colorado State University

"This is a timely addition to Oxfords series of Very Short Introductions. As befits an introduction, the material is presented in a manner designed to help the reader to gain an overview of issues and debates in the field." - The Heythrop Journal

"Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction ...constitutes a timely intervention and provides a broad platform to inform and stimulate further debate and research." - The Philosophical Quarterly

"This short introduction is particularly timely and I would recommend it to anyone not yet familiar with environmental ethics and even to those more knowledgeable of the field, who simply wish to have a recap of the main issues." - Ethical Perspectives, Linnea Luuppala


ISBN : 9780198797166

Robin Attfield
144 ページ
111 x 174 mm





Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction

Environmental Ethics: A Very Short Introduction