chapter  1
28 Pages

Ethics, architecture and philosophy

There is much to suggest that architecture and ethics is or should be a new and important fi eld of inquiry. Its topicality and urgency arises from a raft of pressing concerns that have or will effect the duration and quality of our lives. These are not only familiar issues arising from professional practice in instances where ethics are usually called upon. They now include concerns about global warming, growing energy costs, diminishing natural resources, environmental degradation and the threat of pollution, as well as rising social inequity posed by these and other circumstances. While in some ways Ruskin’s thoughts presage today’s concerns, they do not fully encompass contemporary anxieties – nor should they be expected to. The poet’s authority is bound up with his times; but his evocative prose should not distract us from fi nding ideas and words that speak to our own.