Peter G. Brown

Co-director – McGill University



Peter G. Brown is a Professor at McGill University where he holds appointments at the School of Environment, and the Departments of Geography and Natural Resource Sciences.  He holds a BA from Haverford College; an MA from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in the philosophy of religion; and a PhD from Columbia University in philosophy.  His career has concentrated on the practical uses of philosophy to think critically about the goals of society.  Since the 1980s this work has centered on the deterioration of Earth’s life support capacity and the thought systems that facilitate and legitimate this decline.

He is the author of Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America, and The Commonwealth of Life: Economics for a Flourishing Earth.  He is a co-author of a book on macro-economics and global governance entitled Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy; and co-edited/authored Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals. His Ethics for Economics in the Anthropocene is in the Teilhard Series.  He has co-editor/authored Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene: An Emerging Paradigm. He has edited numerous books, written many articles and chapters; and is a frequent speaker. Before coming to McGill he taught at St. John’s College, the University of Maryland (where he founded the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, the School of Public Policy, and the School’s Environmental Program), and Princeton University.

He is currently the Principal Investigator of Economics for the Anthropocene: Re-grounding the human/Earth relationship, a partnership between McGill, the University of Vermont, and York University in Toronto.  With a budget of over five million dollars it aims to educate up to 60 PhDs in the foundations of ecological economics. It offers critical perspectives on the foundations of neo-classical economics, finance, law, governance and ethics; and first hand experiences in responding the pressing issues relating to water, energy, and climate justice. Professor Brown is Project Director of E4A’s follow-on project, Leadership for the Ecozoic.

He is involved in tree farming and conservation efforts in Maryland, Maine, and Quebec–in all three locations his land is under permanent conservation easements (“servitudes”); totally nearly 1000 acres.  He is a Certified Quebec Forest Producer; was named “Tree Farmer of the Year” in Garrett County, Maryland; has served as the “Steward” of Walker Pond in Hancock County, Maine; and helped to found major conservation initiatives in Maryland and Quebec. In 2012 he established a brook trout sanctuary on a threatened stretch of the upper Savage River in the mountains in Maryland, in cooperation with Trout Unlimited and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.   His property in Quebec contains healthy examples of species at risk such as elm, butternut, and American beech; and offers protection to four rare species of salamanders.

He is a dual Citizen of Canada and the United States; a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Club of Rome, and a Facilitator for the discipline of Ecological Economics for the Harmony with Nature Initiative of the Secretary General of the United Nations.



Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene: An Emerging Paradigm

Authors: Peter G. Brown, Peter Timmerman

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Ethics for Economics in the Anthropocene

Author: Peter G. Brown


The Commonwealth of Life: Economics for a Flourishing Earth

Author: Peter G. Brown


Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals

Authors: Peter G. Brown, Jeremy J. Schmidt


Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy

Author: Peter G. Brown, Robert Howell (Contributor), Geoffrey Garver, Thomas E. Lovejoy (Forward), Keith Helmuth (Contributor), Steve Szeghi (Contributor)


Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America

Author: Peter G. Brown