Originally published in 1989 Social Philosophy and Ecological Scarcity presents a systematic study of the implications of ecological scarcity for social philosophy. The book argues for a new social philosophy based on a conception of the ‘good society’ and the ‘good life’ which makes fewer, rather than more demands on scarce ecological resources. The book shows that the two major competing social philosophies in modern philosophical thought – the bourgeois liberal and the state socialist – are both forms of capitalism. Despite their obvious differences, they both pursue the logic of capitalism, of ever-increasing accumulation, growth and consumption. This pursuit is carried out by means of modern science and its technology, which assume that Nature’s resources are inexhaustible and can be exploited to meet infinite human wants or needs, ignoring ecological scarcity. The recognition of ecological scarcity would lead to a social philosophy, based on a frugal mode of socialism which has more affinities with the social visions of Fourier and Morris than with that of Marx. Their theories, far from being too ‘utopian’, are shown as more ‘realistic’ and less ‘fantastic’ than either bourgeois capitalism or state capitalism based on the Marxist model.
1. A Rational Basis for a Naturalistic Ethic and Social Philosophy
2. The Principles of Ecology and the Laws of Thermodynamics
3. Ecological Scarcity
4. Human Agency and its External Relations
5. Rates of Reproduction and Consumption
6. Economics at Odds with Ecological Scarcity
7. Civilisation, its Contents and its Discontents
8. Work and the Two Socialisms
9. Redistribution, Equality as the Distributive Value
10. Human Capacities and Needs
The volumes in this set, originally published between 1974 and 2002, draw together research by leading academics in the area of ecology and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The collection examines ecology from a broad range of disciplines, from examining the economic impact of wildlife trade on ecosystems, to studies of the biodiversity of ecosystems across mountains, forests, wetlands and the arctic. The collection includes volumes across the disciplines of biology, botany, geography and sociology. The 17 books that comprise this collection include rigorous examinations into plant ecosystems, philosophy surrounding ecological scarcity, tropical environments and the relationship between ecology and society. This collection brings back into print a collection of insightful and detailed books on the diverse subject of ecology and the environment and will be a must have resource for academics and students, not only of biology and ecology, but of philosophy, sociology and economics.