Ancient Thinking for a Green Age
Climate change and sustainability are not just technical problems or problems in applied ethics: they require a new political imagination. Melissa Lane identifies Key messages – on the role of the individual, the household, the nature of citizenship, and the significance of the imagination – which bring the wisdom of the past to bear on the challenges of the present. Using these resources, and building on these insights, she calls for the construction of a ‘new normal’, remaking our imagination of our society and our selves. Drawing on Plato’s Republic as a model while also challenging aspects of Platonic politics, the book sets out the political and psychological challenges that we face in moving beyond the psycho-political settlement of modern commercial society.
Acknowledgements vii Part I INERTIA 1 Prologue to Chapter 1: Plato’s Cave 3 1 Introduction: Inertia as Failure of the Political Imagination 7 An Unconsciously Platonic Prologue to Chapter 2: Carbon Detox 27 2 From Greed to Glory: Ancient to Modern Ethics – and Back Again? 29 Prologue to Chapter 3: Plato’s Ring of Gyges 47 3 Underpinning Inertia: The Idea of Negligibility 51 Part II IMAGINATION 77 Prologue to Chapter 4: Post-Platonic Perspectives on the Republic 79 4 Meet Plato’s Republic 83 Prologue to Chapter 5: Plato on Why Virtue Matters 99 5 The City and the Soul 101 vi Prologue to Chapter 6: Plato’s Idea of the Good 127 6 The Idea of the Good 133 Part III INITIATIVE 157 Prologue to Chapter 7: Revisiting Plato’s Cave 159 7 Initiative and Individuals: A (Partly) Platonic Political Project 163 Notes 187 Works Cited 219 Index 235
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