From Civil Rights to Nature’s Rights
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Hailing from the American South, I was a slow student, awakened by Plato in high school and introduced to philosophy in college. Alienated from analytic trivia and minutia, I did graduate work in Greek philosophy at Syracuse University. My first academic job at Memphis State University involved me in the Southern Civil Rights Movement; my second at the Wisconsin State University-Stevens Point involved me in the environmental movement and inspired me to create first environmental ethics and then, in collaboration with Roger Ames, comparative environmental philosophy. In the face of unprecedented challenges, such as global climate change, academic philosophy must abandon its preoccupation with arcane puzzles and its studied intellectual isolation and work collaboratively with the natural and social sciences if it is to survive in the competitive and accountable academic climate of the twenty-first century.
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