Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Pragmatism, Piety, and Environmental Ethics

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Buy this article

$30.00+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites

image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

The rise of pragmatism in environmental ethics in the 1990s was driven by several factors, including dissatisfaction with the field's dominant nonanthropocentrism and the desire to increase the political and policy influence of environmental ethics. Yet despite an emphasis on human experience as the foundation of environmental values and action, environmental pragmatists have paid little attention to the religious dimensions of human-nature interactions. In this paper I attempt to address this neglect by exploring the religious thought of John Dewey, arguably the most significant pragmatist philosopher of the classical period. I suggest that Dewey's understanding of religiosity—in particular, his concept of "natural piety"—instructs us to respect nonhuman nature as a source of human imaginative experience and self-unification. Although Dewey's naturalized approach to religious experience retains a broadly instrumentalist view toward nature, it is an instrumentality that supports a humble and appreciative attitude toward the environment and a sense of caution regarding the modification of nature for human purposes. I conclude by arguing that the recovery of Dewey's attitude of natural piety provides an important constraint on more aggressively anthropocentric approaches to human-nature relations, including those promoting sustainability as an alternative to traditional limits-based environmentalism.


Article metrics loading...


Affiliations: 1: Center for Biology & Society and School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501


Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to email alerts
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology — Recommend this title to your library

    Thank you

    Your recommendation has been sent to your librarian.

  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation