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  Authors

Holmes Rolston III

1932 -

Professor of Philosophy and University Distinguished Professor, Colorado State University

Lectures

Biography

Holmes Rolston III is the University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University and is widely recognised as the father of environmental ethics. Rolston was born on 19 November 1932 in Rockridge Baths, Virginia, to Mary Winifred Long and Holmes Rolston II, a Presbyterian minister. His family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and then to Richmond, Virginia, where his father was editor-in-chief of the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church. On 1 June 1956 Rolston married Jane Irving Wilson; they have a daughter and a son.
Rolston was educated at Davidson College, near Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated in 1953 with a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics. He studied at Union Seminary in Virginia and graduated with a bachelor of divinity degree (1956). Also, in 1956 he was ordained to ministry for the Presbyterian Church (USA), following the career path of his father and grandfather. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, with Thomas F. Torrance as his supervisor (1958).
Rolstonís first academic post was at Hampden-Sydney College where he taught philosophy beginning in 1958. He then worked as a Presbyterian minister for several years at the Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church in Bristol, Virginia, where he remained until 1967. Rolston returned to academia and earned an M.A. in the philosophy of science at the University of Pittsburgh (1968). Later that year he became an assistant professor of philosophy at Colorado State University, where he became a full professor in 1976. He currently holds the position of University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State University. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.), from his alma mater, Davidson College, in 2002.
Rolstonís many achievements include being the recipient of the Templeton Prize in Religion in 2003, which was awarded by H.R.H. Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace. He delivered the Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh (1997/1998). Rolston gave the opening conference address to the Royal Institute of Philosophy annual conference, Cardiff, Wales (1993). He was Distinguished Lecturer in Beijing, China, at the invitation of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Institute of Philosophy. He participated in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro (1992) where he was an official observer. He spoke at the World Congress of Philosophy, in Moscow (1993) and again in Boston (1998). Rolston was Distinguished Lecturer at the 28th Nobel Conference (1992) at Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, authorized by the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm. In 1991 a research conference was held in Berkeley, California, devoted to Rolstonís work and his contribution to the field of environmental ethics. He was named Distinguished Scholar during a National Endowment for the Humanities colloquium at North Idaho College. In JulyĖAugust 1995 he was Visiting Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He was a plenary speaker at the fortieth anniversary Conference of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (1994). Rolston has served as a consultant with over two dozen conservation and policy groups, including the U.S. Congress and a Presidential Commission.
Among his many publications are Philosophy Gone Wild (1986), Environmental Ethics (1988), and Conserving Natural Value (1994). Rolston has also written in philosophy of science and religion more generally, including his book Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (1987). Rolston is one of the founders of the journal Environmental Ethics, where he is currently an associate editor, and serves on the editorial boards of a number of other journals, including Environmental Values.
Please visit his Web site for additional resources.
Templeton Press