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Eco-Republic

Ancient Thinking for a Green Age

Series:

Melissa Lane

The transition to a sustainable society is a profound challenge to ethics and political thought, as well as to humankind. It is comparable to the great transitions of the past, such as the Enlightenment. Yet the distinguished tradition of groundbreaking ideas has not so far been widely invoked in public debates in this area. What can we learn from the history of ethics and political thought to enable us to cope with climate change?
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.

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Works Cited Adam, David and Afua Hirsch. ‘Oil giants could soon face lawsuits over climate, says Oxford University scientist’. Guardian, 9 December 2008, 1. Adams, Madonna R. ‘Environmental Ethics in Plato’s Timaeus’. In The Greeks and the Environment, ed. Laura Westra and Thomas M. Robinson, 55–72. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997. Adams, Robert Merrihew. Finite and Infinite Goods. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. ——. A Theory of Virtue: Excellence in Being for the Good. 2nd edn, New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Ainslie, George. Breakdown of Will. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Akst, Daniel. We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess. New York: Penguin, 2011. Allen, Danielle S. The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000. ——. Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship after Brown v. Board of Education. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2004. ——. Why Plato Wrote. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Ref lections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso, 1983. Anderson, Ray C. Mid-Course Correction: Toward a Sustainable Enterprise. The Interface Model. Atlanta: Peregrinzilla Press, 1998. ——, with Robin White. Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose – Doing Business by Respecting the Earth. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2009. Annas, Julia. The Morality of Happiness. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. [Anonymous]. ‘End of the Runway.’ Editorial, Guardian, 10 July 2008, 30. ——. ‘Heavy baggage.’ Economist, 31 January 2009, 50. 220 Works Cited ——. ‘Mr Segway’s Dif ficult...

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