1st Edition

Sustainability and the Philosophy of Science

By Jeffry L. Ramsey Copyright 2024
    124 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book demonstrates how the philosophy of science can enhance our understanding of sustainability and the practices we use to enact it. Examining assumptions about concepts, theories, evidence, and the moral ideals of sustainability can better orient us as we pursue this urgent and important goal.

    The book applies perspectives and tools from the philosophy of science – construed broadly to include portions of science and technology studies, history of science, and philosophy more generally – to sustainability discourse. It argues that widely held assumptions regarding the meaning of concepts, methods of theorizing and inferential practice, evidential structure, and ethics limit our understanding and practice of sustainability. It offers philosophical alternatives that capture more fully the confusing, wicked nature of sustainability challenges. The alternatives draw attention to existing but often undervalued frameworks in sustainability discourse.

    This book is aimed towards academics, researchers, and post-graduates working in sustainability, as well as philosophers of science and environmental philosophers interested in the philosophical issues raised by the pursuit of sustainability.

    1. Introduction

    2. The Meanings of Sustainability

    3. Theorizing about Sustainability

    4. Evidence for Sustainability

    5. Ethics and Sustainability

    6. Conclusion


    Jeffry L. Ramsey is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department at Smith College, Northampton, MA, USA.  He is also a member of Smith’s Programs in Environmental Science & Policy and History of Science & Technology.  He teaches courses in the philosophy of science, history of science, environmental philosophy, and the history of early modern European philosophy.