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Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place

Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place
Christopher J. Preston
University of Georgia Press
Publication Date: 

cloth, 161 p., $34.95

According to ancient Greek philosophers, the study or the theory of the basis of knowledge was completely separate from external influences. In this scholarly book, philosopher Christopher Preston traces the evolving history of this traditional approach to truth and describes its challenges over the years. He also adds to the arguments, contending that man’s thought processes can not be separated from his physical environment in the exploration of the relationship of social and cultural factors that influence mental activity. His thesis is that there are situated accounts of knowledge, such that, for example, a particular physical environment will affect theory. He concludes that mankind must protect a full range of environments in their natural condition in order to provide a complete grounding to knowledge.

Despite the fact that it is a bit of a slog through various philosophers’ theories, readers will be rewarded with an epistemic reason for the protection of natural habitats.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden