MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR NATURE: Ecological Problems and Western Tradition by John Passmore

MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR NATURE: Ecological Problems and Western Tradition

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Australian philosophy professor Passmore, author of The Perfectability of Man (1971), takes on those militant ecologists who have demanded a new Western ethic away from the severe divisions into ""man"" and ""nature."" Fully confronting the fact of an ecological crisis, Passmore declares ""no man has tenure in the biosphere."" Within the weave of major theological/philosophical systems in Western thought, there are ""seeds"" of a workable morality. What we need is not a new ethic but a new mode of behavior. Passmore then discusses four problem areas: pollution, conservation, preservation and population control. In each Passmore locates viable factors toward solution while clearing away ""metaphysical rubbish."" Man, he contends, has a responsibility to transform the world into a civilized state. An admitted ""human chauvinist"" he puts human interests first, but ecological wisdom can be achieved by utilizing some extant traditional morality and an advancing science -- not forgetting political, social and economic considerations. A lively and stimulating statement.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1974
Publisher: Scribners