The American Midwest is environmentally rich and complex, home to some of the world’s largest freshwater lakes and streams as well as cities, prairies, forests, and farmlands. Nevertheless, the unique environmental opportunities and challenges the region presents have been left underappreciated and underexplored by environmental ethicists. The close integration of the natural and built environments of the Midwest prompts interdisciplinary inquiry in a particularly pointed way. To remedy the lack of scholarly attention to this area, this volume attends to the way that the broad concerns of environmental ethics manifest in the region. These eight original essays cover a wide range of topics, including agrarian ethics and Stoicism; the Dakota access pipeline and Indigenous women’s activism; philosophy of law and species classification; environmental justice and the Flint water crisis; hog farming and antimicrobial drug resistance; science education standards and climate change education; virtue ethics and ecological restoration; environmental pragmatism and the Clean Water Act; and more. Each accessibly written chapter brings multidisciplinary complexity to bear on this complex region. The authors include philosophers working in environmental ethics and other subfields of philosophy, and together with scholars in fields such as environmental sociology, American Indian studies, and environmental studies, they provide a fresh and necessary perspective on the American Midwest.
“This fascinating collection of essays brings to life the complex questions that the U.S. Midwest raises for environmental ethics. The original, interdisciplinary contributions take the reader on a journey through forests and feedlots, rivers and restorations, cities and classrooms, challenging us to see the often-neglected Midwest as in fact laying at the heart of twenty-first-century U.S. environmental concerns.”
—CLARE PALMER, George T. and Gladys H. Abell Professor of Liberal Arts and professor of philosophy, Texas A&M University