Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place by Christopher PrestonGrounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place by Christopher Preston

Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place

byChristopher Preston

Hardcover | February 24, 2003

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Mountains and freeways, oceans and apartment buildings, trees and automobiles: such things lend shape to mental activity, says Christopher J. Preston. Yet Western epistemology, since its origins, has neglected these material factors. Even postmodern perspectives on how we think and know continue to emphasize social and cultural factors over the physical environment.

Grounding Knowledge claims that one of the unforeseen consequences of this anthropocentrism has been to ignore the epistemic argument for maintaining diverse natural environments. Grounding Knowledge supplies that argument. Preston first traces the separation of place and mind in Western epistemology. Drawing connections between skepticism and ungrounded knowledge, he then explores how a common insight in the epistemologies of both Kant and Quine sets the scene for more situated accounts of knowledge. After showing how science studies and cognitive science have both recently moved in this direction, Preston draws further evidence for his thesis from fields as far apart as evolutionary biology, anthropology, and religious studies. He asks what these ideas in contemporary epistemology and environmental philosophy mean for environmental policy, concluding that the grounding of knowledge strongly suggests epistemic reasons for the protection of a full range of physical environments in their natural condition.

Grounding Knowledge comes at a time of increasing dialogue between the sciences and the humanities about our rootedness in all of our different "worlds." Preston hopes to persuade his readers that "it is not only in our biological but also in our cognitive interests to protect these roots."

Christopher J. Preston is an associate professor of philosophy and a fellow at the Center for Ethics at the University of Montana Missoula.
Title:Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and PlaceFormat:HardcoverDimensions:184 pages, 9.19 × 6.25 × 0.73 inPublished:February 24, 2003Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820324507

ISBN - 13:9780820324500


Editorial Reviews

[Grounding Knowledge] is engagingly written, and would be quite accessible to interdisciplinary courses in environmental studies or as a summary of diverse yet convergent areas of study that show knowledge production are not acontextual. . . . Ultimately, the book is a call to treat human thought as materially grounded-in bodies, in social settings, and in uncultured particularities-rather than as artificially universal abstractions. - Environmental Ethics