Political ecologists--the theorists of the Green movement--assert that if we do not fundamentally change the way in which our society makes use of nature, then we will destroy the physical basis of our social existence within the foreseeable future. In the light of this insight, this book is concerned to unearth the foundations of our cultural attitudes towards nature and to start the process of building philosophical foundations that could provide the basis of a sustainable relationship between society and the environment. The objective is to provide a critique and reorientation of social theory at the level of epistemology and to question the nature of rationality; the role of ideology and assumptions about human nature which underpin conventional academic social theory. The heart of the analysis comprises a critique of the core values of the Enlightenment that have shaped modern Western thought: Science; Progress and Individualism. To political ecology these represent fundamental problem concepts and the intention of this book is to broaden and deepen our understanding of existing social processes particularly those identified as the 'post-modern' condition of aimless consumerism in relation to environmental issues. The analysis includes sketches of concepts and practices with which political ecology might transcend these values and shows how transformed attitudes can contribute towards solving environmental problems. This is a challenging and original synthesis of philosophy and theory directed towards the greatest issue of our time. It will be essential reading for everyone concerned with the future of the planet.