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Pragmatism

  • By: James Bruggeman
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Environmental pragmatism represents one school of environmental philosophy, a larger discipline concerned with the relationships among humans, other animals, and their environments. Environmental pragmatists also are active in environmental ethics, a subfield within environmental philosophy that considers moral principles and rights relative to nonhumans and to the environment in general. During the early 20th century, the views of influential conservationists and regional planners—Liberty Hyde Bailey, Aldo Leopold, Louis Mumford, and Benton Mackaye—were influenced by the classical American pragmatism of William James, Charles Pierce, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey. By the mid-20th century, the appeal of pragmatism waned in philosophical circles, only to be revived by “neopragmatists”—philosophers such as Richard Rorty, Jurgen Habermas, Richard Bernstein, and Hilary Putnam. Recently, a number of contemporary environmental ...

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