While many disciplines contribute to environmental conservation, there is little successful integration of science and social values. Arguing that the central problem in conservation is a lack of effective communication, Bryan Norton shows in Sustainability how current linguistic resources discourage any shared, multidisciplinary public deliberation over environmental goals and policy. In response, Norton develops a new, interdisciplinary approach to defining sustainability—the cornerstone of environmental policy—using philosophical and linguistic analyses to create a nonideological vocabulary that can accommodate scientific and evaluative environmental discourse.
Emphasizing cooperation and adaptation through social learning, Norton provides a practical framework that encourages an experimental approach to language clarification and problem formulation, as well as an interdisciplinary approach to creating solutions. By moving beyond the scientific arena to acknowledge the importance of public discourse, Sustainability offers an entirely novel approach to environmentalism.
"Measured in terms of direct impact on environmental thinking and policy, Norton is arguably one of the top two or three environmental philosophers in the world. His reputation and import are demonstrated perfectly in this book. . . . [He] has produced yet another piece of important environmental scholarship. Natural resource management, and students thereof, would be greatly served by carefully considering the view of regimes such as adaptive management throught the critical lens of philosophical analysis. I can think of few better prompts for critical thought than Norton's treatise."—Michael P. Nelson, Environmental Conservation
Michael P. Nelson