Donald Scherer

Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403

Office: 319 Shatzel Hall

Office Phone: (419) 372-7142


Professor Scherer joined the philosophy faculty in 1967, having previously taught at Hobart College. In 1999-2000, he visited at Santa Clara University, where he consulted with environmental studies faculty on how to incorporate ethics within the scope of their research, whatever their disciplinary base. Emeritus since 2003, he continues to teach courses in environmental philosophy, with particular interests in the social aspects of ecological restoration, the ethics of energy use, and the relationships between sustainability, the specialization of labor and negative externalities.

The vice-president of Green Energy Ohio, Professor Scherer consults on environmental developing concerns, including approaches to greening industry, park uses, urban restoration, private-public partnerships and wind and solar energy development. Believing that his work with students should facilitate the students in achieving their career goals, Professor Scherer continues to welcome students with interests related to his work.

Three former students are:

  1. exploring relationships between environmental and medical ethics with a focus on AIDS and environmental health;
  2. using her coordinate MFA to raise artistic sensibilities to the normative character of human impact on the natural environment; and
  3. using her coordinate MS in Environmental Management to research and propose strategies for managing species of concern.

Three current students are

  1. developing the concept of moral progress in order to show the morally progressive character of Aldo Leopold's land ethic;
  2. assessing the justifiability of terrorism by examining the strategic environment within which terrorism exists; and
  3. developing a coordination between environmental scientists, the local community and local industries to restore two degraded creeks.

Professor Scherer's recent publications include: Upstream/Downstream: Issues in Environmental Ethics (Temple, 1990), "Between Theory and Practice: Some Thoughts on Restoration," Restoration and Management Notes, 1994, "Ethics of Sustainable Energy," Encyclopedia of Energy Technology and the Environment (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1995), and "Evolution, Human Living and the Practice of Ecological Restoration"Environmental Ethics, 1995, We Never Aimed for Blight and Our Greener Ways, (California Academic Press, 2003). In Two Paths Toward Peace, co-authored with James Child (Temple, 1991), he develops a personal teleological pacifism presented in dialectic with Just War views.

One of Professor Scherer's websites,, presents case studies that exhibit environmental successes where one might expect degradation.