Professor of Philosophy
PHL 505: Issues in the Anthropocene
PHL 504: Topics in Environmental Philosophy
PHL 422: Environmental Philosophy
PHL 112e: Introduction to Ethics and the Environment
Born and raised in England, Christopher moved to the United States in the 1990s. He has lived most of those years in the western states where he enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and other activities made possible by the roomy landscapes.
His research is moved by the idea of the Anthropocene, the epoch in which human influence on the planet is everywhere. He studies emerging Anthropocene technologies for their impact on the human-nature experience. These include climate engineering and biotechnology. His award-winning book The Synthetic Age details some of what is at stake. His current work is on restoration and rewilding. He is finishing a book on wildlife recoveries and what they demand of human-nature relations. The book will be published by MIT Press in early 2023.
Ph.D., University of Oregon (1998)
M.A. (applied ethics), Colorado State University (1993)
B.A. University of Durham, UK (1990)
Rewilding, the Anthropocene, Care Ethics, Ethics of Emerging Technologies, Wilderness, Climate Engineering, Synthetic Biology
I'm currently working on a new book about wildlife recoveries for MIT Press due out in 2022.
The National Science Foundation sponsored some of my research (conducted through the Mansfield Center) on the ethics of geoengineering. As part of that research, I helped create an Online Resource Center for the ethics of geoengineering. The site is no longer updated but it has some useful material on different aspects of geoengineering ethics. It is archived here.
Climate Justice and Geoengineering: Ethics and Policy in the Atmospheric Anthropocene (editor) (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016)
Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management (editor and contributor) (Lexington Books, 2012).
Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III (Trinity University Press, 2009).
Nature, Value, and Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston, III (co-editor with Wayne Ouderkirk and contributor) (Springer, 2007)
Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place (University of Georgia Press, 2003).
"De-extinction and Taking Control of Earth's Metabolism," Hastings Center Report (Issue Supplement S2) 47 (July/August 2017): 37-42.
“Broadening the Assessment Lens for the Governance of Emerging Technologies: Care Ethics and Agricultural Biotechnology,” (co-author with Fern Wickson) Technology in Society 45 (2016): 48-57.
Department of Philosophy
Area of Expertise
Assisted Migration; the Anthropocene; Biotechnology; Care Ethics; Climate Change; Climate Engineering; De-Extinction; Environmental Ethics and Philosophy; Ethics of Wilderness; Rewilding and Restoration; Synthetic Biology; Nanotechnology
Christopher J. Preston is the author of Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III (Trinity University Press, 2009) and Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place (University of Georgia Press, 2003). He edited Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management (Lexington, 2012) and is the co-editor of a collection of essays on Holmes Rolston, III titled Nature, Value, and Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston, III(Springer, 2006). He has published more than thirty articles in environmental philosophy and related areas. His philosophical interests include wilderness and re-wilding, ecofeminism, the anthropocene, climate engineering, the science/ethics interface, and environmental epistemology. He has a Masters degree in applied ethics from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Oregon in Eugene. He is a research fellow at the university’s Progam on Ethics and Public Affairs and has commercial fished a number of summers in Alaska. Christopher was born and raised in England.
Visiting Researcher at the University of Turku, Finland (Nov 2021)
Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Ethics of the Anthropocene at the Institute of Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Oct-Jan 2016-17).