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     From 1973 through l980, the Philosophic Institute was engaged in extensive studies of decision-making in the electric power industry (involving Commonwealth Edison of Chicago and Northern Indiana Public Service Company) and of the role of values in the regulation of public utilities (involving the Illinois Commerce Commission).  These studies resulted in the publication of Values in the Electric Power Industry, K. Sayre (ed.) (University of Notre Dame Press, l977) and Regulation, Values, and the Public Interest, by Kenneth Sayre, Ellen Maher, Peri Arnold, Kenneth Goodpaster, Robert Rodes, and James Stewart (University of Notre Dame Press, l980).

     Coordinated with these studies was an exploration of the foundations of environmental ethics, resulting in the volume Ethics and Problems of the 21st Century, K. Goodpaster and K. Sayre (eds.) (University of Notre Dame Press, 1979).  Related publications included two papers by K. Sayre in the journal Environmental Ethics (Spring 1981 and Fall 1991), on the Editorial Advisory Board of which he served from 1981 to 1991, and K. Goodpaster’s often reprinted article “On Being Morally Considerable.”

     This work continued with a number of papers developed for use in K. Sayre’s course in environmental philosophy.  These papers were organized in book form in 2003, which was revised in 2005 and is undergoing more complete revision for anticipated use in 2007.  Revised chapters will be added to this site upon completion. The tentative title of the book is: UNEARTHED: The Economic Roots of our Environmental Crisis.

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The Economic Roots of our Environmental Crisis

Table of Contents


Part One:  Entropy and Ecology

Chapter 1    Two Laws of Thermodynamics
Chapter 2    Entropy and Disorder
      Appendix:  An Information-Theoretic Measure of Order in Operating Systems
Chapter 3    Life, Negentropy, and Biological Feedback
Chapter 4    Ecosystems and Top Consumers
Chapter 5    Entropy Trapped within the Biosphere
Chapter 6    The Rising Tide of Human Energy Use

Part Two:  Economics and Entropy

Chapter 7    Economic Production and its Ecological Consequences
Chapter 8    Technological Solutions to Ecological Problems
Chapter 9    Replacing Fossil Fuel with Clean Energy
Chapter 10  History and Theory of Economic Growth
Chapter 11  Why Economic Growth is Considered a Good Thing
Chapter 12  Economics without Continuing Growth

Part Three:  Ethics and Economics

Chapter 13  Desire for Wealth in Free-Market Economies
Chapter 14  Environmental and Other Ethics
Chapter 15  Typology of Social Values
Chapter 16  Ecologically Destructive Values
Chapter 17 Values for Survival
Chapter 18  What Can Be Done? What Can One Do?



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