• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This wide-ranging and accessible contribution to the study of risk, ecology and environment helps us to understand the politics of ecology and the place of social theory in making sense of environmental issues. The book provides insights into the complex dynamics of change in `risk societies'.

On Knowing What to Do: Environmentalism and the Modern Problematic
On knowing what to do: Environmentalism and the modern problematic

Once, it seems, we knew what to do.1 Until the early modern period, knowing who we were, and in what practice we were engaged, told us all we needed to know about what we ought to do. That was the nature of moral experience then. There was no distinction, as today, between a world of facts and a world of values – the word ‘moral’ simply meant ‘customary’, and to know what a creature or object was was also to know its telos, its good. The world was finite, ordered and suffused with meaning and purpose. Our – humanity's – place and role in that world ...

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