Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Philosophy

Staff

Publication details for Dr Simon Paul James

James, Simon. (2009). The Presence of Nature: A Study in Phenomenology and Environmental Philosophy. Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

What is 'nature'? In what sense are humans parts of it? And why, if at all, should we strive to conserve it? Environmental issues raise a host of fascinating philosophical questions. Yet all too often these questions are tackled in an overly abstract way, one that fails to account for what it is like to experience the natural world. The Presence of Nature takes a different approach. Drawing on the philosophical tradition of phenomenology as well as a number of literary sources, Simon James takes a refreshingly new perspective on a range of topics, including animal consciousness, the moral imperative to conserve nature and the view that the natural world exists independently of human concerns. In so doing, he develops an original approach to environmental philosophy, one that takes seriously the various ways we encounter the natural world in the living of our lives.

'James's philosophical exploration of the ecophenomenological landscape opens new vistas, helping us see a way through the deep thicket of ethical challenges that we denizens of the earth now face. This is an important and provocative book, and an adventure in thinking not to be missed.' - Iain Thomson, University of New Mexico

Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
Our Place in Nature
Animal Minds
Nature's Value, and Other Obsessions
Why Conserve Nature?
Beyond the Human
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

SIMON P. JAMES has degrees in biology, history and philosophy of science and philosophy. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Durham University, UK. He is the author of Zen Buddhism and Environmental Ethics (2004) and, with David E. Cooper, Buddhism, Virtue and Environment (2005).