It is often claimed by eco-philosophers and green political theorists that liberalism, the dominant tradition of western political philosophy, is too focused on the interests of human individuals to give due weight to the environment for its own sake. Touching on various themes in environmental ethics, value theory and political philosophy, including deep ecology, eco-feminism and eco-anarchism, this book argues, against prevailing wisdom, that liberalism can embrace a non-anthropocentric, non-instrumental view of nature. Indeed, Hailwood argues that conceptual resources exist within liberal pluralism - the ideas of "neutrality", "anti-expressivism" and "otherness" - for a thoroughly ecocentric perspective. Engaging with the works of Wissenburg, Carter, Bookchin, Rawls, and many others, Hailwood develops in this book a recognizably liberal pluralist theory that encompasses a strong commitment to the non-instrumental value of independent nature. The book begins by outlying the charge of anthropocentrism against liberalism. The author then discusses historical versions of natural/political order parallels and Mill's objection to "natural lessons". The core chapters then examine nature's otherness as a ground of value, the criticisms of holistic/deep ecological views, and the pluralist critique of liberalism and the common ground between them. The final chapter summarizes the theoretical position and discusses some of the practical implications.
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