The papers included in this volume defy neat categorization, because the range of topics mirrors one of the Conference's purposes, which was to seek out the relevancy of Greek philosophy with respect to our present- day environmental crisis. Thus the reader will note that scholarly inquiry into Aristotelian, Platonic, Stoic, Neoplatonic and Pre-Socratic traditions is often matched with exploration of the relationship of these theories to modern environmental philosophies.
The careful treatment of the past is everywhere accompanied with a critical reevaluation of contemporary interpretations of ancient philosophy's treatment of ecological issues. Those who have dismissed the importance of Greek philosophy on these matters, either on the grounds that Greek thinkers were unconcerned with environmental issues or that Greek philosophy is a contributing source to the culture of dominance, will find these textbook commonplaces challenged at every turn. Even more, one will often find novel illumination of well known passages from the works of the Pre-Socratics up to Galen and the Church Fathers that pertain to man's relationship to living and non-being beings, and to the practical question of generating a cooperative ethic towards nature.
Undoubtedly the reader of these articles has a lot to profit from. They definitely help in the general effort - which has to be intensified - for the proper evaluation of the ideas and theories of the past and their value for the present, for the many-sided view of the complex ecological issues and for the charting of ways out of the dead-end in which we have come to through our unforgivable mistakes and spiritual and mental blindness.
This volume will be of value to readers interested in having a better comprehension of the nature of our ecological problems, since the papers address these problems with painstaking scholarship and with a rare attention to the history of the ecological concepts that have been inherited from ancient Greek thinkers.
The value of these papers is best appreciated when read in conjunction with those included in volume one, because then the unity of issues and concerns that comprise the philosophical dialogue between ecological issues with past traditions and specific interpretations and commentaries in the present becomes most useful.