Richard Routley is widely regarded as having pioneered the academic subfield of Environmental Philosophy. Less well known are his contributions to nuclear ethics and politics, which he penned under the name Richard Sylvan.
The reasons for this are reasonably straightforward: Sylvan did not publish a monograph on the problem of nuclear harm, instead choosing to engage in the highly-unorthodox academic publishing practice of self-publishing a vast amount of his work – quite literally, using his own printing press. This was driven by a disdain for the corporatisation of academic publishing in general, and the desire to publish and distribute material at lower cost in particular.
Sylvan’s nuclear philosophy therefore needs (re)constructing. Towards these novel ends, the Antipodean Antinuclearism project performs the most thoroughgoing investigation into Richard Sylvan’s nuclear thought ever undertaken.
What we find is that Sylvan’s distinctive Antipodean nuclear philosophy was punctuated by a non-anthropocentric (or non-humancentric) nuclear ethics and non-statist (or anarchist) nuclear politics. Such an Antipodean nuclear philosophy stands in direct opposition to the dominant Anglo-American perspectives, which are both anthropocentric and statist.