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|URL: http://www.hds.harvard.edu/ee/bib/||Last Updated: Jan. 9, 1997|
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The Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School is committed to the in-depth examination of the values that animate public life in the contemporary world. Environmental issues have become central matters of on-going debate in policy circles and in the public at large, and the Center recognizes that environmental ethics have emerged as an important new area of investigation as the human community seeks to live more responsibly within the global ecosystem.
Students, activists, research scholars, religious leaders, government officials, business men and women and citizens from all walks of life confront problems of choice and valuation on environmental matters every day. There is no way to avoid this. We live as organisms and communities within larger biogeochemical environments and individual choices and collective behaviors in turn modify and transform those environments. The choices about where we live, how we travel, what we consume and how our society plans for its future all reveal -- whether we like or not, or even if we know it or not -- the implicit values we hold and the environmental ethics we live by on a daily basis. At the same time, humans are the inheritors and inventors of numerous ethical traditions. Some of these are religious in origin, and some have been derived from more secular traditions. In either case there is frequently a gap between professed principles and actual behavior in most human groups.
The study of environmental ethics involves the effort to examine both the formal principles of various ethical beliefs and value systems and the patterns of implicit valuation and ethical action reflected in individual and collective behavior. As such, the field of environmental ethics can be both theoretical and highly empirical. Moreover, the literature which is helpful in the discussion of environmental ethics is necessarily broad ranging and interdisciplinary. While no single academic discipline contains the information or reasoning required for productive scholarship in this realm, most academic literature is still produced and conveyed within the confines of specific disciplines, and it is sometimes difficult to bring into view the full range of interdisciplinary literature appropriate for considering specific subjects in the realm of environmental ethics.
The Subject Bibliographies in Environmental Ethics are published by Timothy C. Weiskel at the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School. They are intended explicitly to facilitate interdisciplinary research and public discussion of the ethical issues embedded in the full range of the environmental concerns of our day. Developed initially as teaching and research aids for seminars on environmental ethics at Harvard, these bibliographies are presented here on this publicly accessible web site as a resource for general public use.
The series as a whole will be devoted to examining the ethical issues involved in environmental policy decisions, scientific research findings, issues of equity and environmental justice and problems related to global environmental change. The bibliographies will be made available on this web site as they are published over the course of the academic year. A cumulative list will be maintained in a Directory of all published bibliographies. Further information about printed copies of the bibliographies can be obtained by contacting the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard Divinity School.