Passmore, John

John Arthur Passmore (1914–2004) was an influential Australian philosopher. He taught at the University of Sydney, Australia; the University of Otago, New Zealand; and was professor of philosophy at the Australian National University from 1965 until 1979. He was primarily known as a historian of ideas, especially in the areas of 20th-century philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics, and as a pioneer in applied ethics. He was not an “environmental philosopher” in the sense of critically examining the philosophical foundations of environmentalism. His book Man's Responsibility for Nature, first published in 1974, was the first attempt to examine environmental issues from the perspective of the Western intellectual tradition: he argued that as a matter of urgency we must reduce our demands on the biosphere. His work was, ...

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