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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Denis Collins, John Barkdull Capitalism, Environmentalism, and Mediating Structures
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How can an environmental ethic be developed that encompasses the concerns of both free market proponents and environmentalists? In this article we approach the environment-market debate using Adam Smith’s writings in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, The Wealth of Nations, and Lectures on Jurisprudence. Smith’s guiding principle for solving prominent conflicts of self-interest is that government intervention is required when the economic activities of some cause harm to others. The solution that follows from Smith’s analysis is a governmentfunded, independent, democratically controlled, and democratically accountable mediating structure that derives impartial decisions and is authorized to impose its just and fair decisions on affected parties. In practical terms, this analysis provides the ethical foundation for the wide-ranging development of stakeholder panels composed of public interest group representatives and business representatives and empowered to develop solutions to public conflicts arising out of environmental problems.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Andrew Kernohan Rights against Polluters
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When there is only one source of pollution, the language of rights is adequate for justifying solutions to pollution problems. However, pollution is often both a public and an accumulative harm. According to Feinberg, an accumulative harm is a harm to some person brought about by the actions of many people when the action of no single person is sufficient, by itself, to cause the harm. For example, although no single car emits enough exhaust to do any harm, the emissions from many cars can accumulate to an unhealthy level. In this paper, I argue that rights, understood in terms of the will theory of Hart and the interest theories of Lyons and Raz, cannot justify protecting people from public, accumulative harms. I conclude that pollution regulation should focus not on protecting people’s rights, but on preventing harm to people’s interests.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
John van Buren Critical Environmental Hermeneutics
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Local, national, and international conflicts over the use of forests between logging companies, governments, environmentalists, native peoples, local residents, recreationalists, and others—e.g., the controversy over the spotted owl in the old-growth forests of the Northwestern United States and over the rain forests in South America—have shown the need for philosophical reflection to help clarify the basic issues involved. Joining other philosophers who are addressing this problem, my own response takes the form of a sketch of the rough outlines of a critical environmental hermeneutics. I apply hermeneutics, narrative theory, and critical theory to environmental ethics, and use this hermeneutical theory as a method to illuminate the “deep” underlying issues relating to the perception and use of forests. In applying this method, I first take up the analytical problem of identifying, clarifying, and ordering the different interpretive narratives about forests in terms of the underlying epistemological, ethical, and political issuesinvolved. I then address the critical problem of deciding conflicts between these different interpretations of forests by working out a set of legitimation criteria to which all parties concerned would ideally be able to subscribe.
discussion papers
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Troy W. Hartley Environmental Justice: An Environmental Civil Rights Value Acceptable to All World Views
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In accordance with environmental injustice, sometimes called environmental racism, minority communities are disproportionately subjected to a higher level of environmental risk than other segments of society. Growing concern over unequal environmental risk and mounting evidence of both racial and economic injustices have led to a grass-roots civil rights campaign called the environmental justice movement. The environmental ethics aspects of environmental injustice challenge narrow utilitarian views and promote Kantian rights and obligations. Nevertheless, an environmentaljustice value exists in all ethical world views, although it involves a concept of equitable distribution of environmental protection that has been lacking in environmental ethics discussion.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Janna Thompson Aesthetics and the Value of Nature
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Like many environmental philosophers, I find the idea that the beauty of wildernesses makes them valuable in their own right and gives us a moral duty to preserve and protect them to be attractive. However, this appeal to aesthetic value encounters a number of serious problems. I argue that these problems can best be met and overcome by recognizing that the appreciation of natural environments and the appreciation of great works of arts are activities more similar than many people have supposed.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Terri Field Caring Relationships with Natural and Artificial Environments
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A relational-self theory claims that one’s self is constituted by one’s relationships. The type of ethics that is said to arise from this concept of self is often called an ethics of care, whereby the focus of ethical deliberation is on preserving and nurturing those relationships. Some environmental philosophers advocating a relational-self theory tend to assume that the particular relationships that constitute the self will prioritize the natural world. I question this assumption by introducing the problem of artifact relationships. It is unclear whether a relational-self theory recognizes relationships with the artificial world as beingmeaningful in any moral sense, and whether such relationships, if they can exist, should be accorded equal value to relationships with the natural world. The problem of artifact relationships becomes particularly apparent when the relational-self theory is linked to place-based ethics. If our ethics are to develop from our relations to place, and our place is largely an artificial world, is there not a danger that our ethical deliberations will tend to neglect the natural world? I adapt Holmes Rolston’s concept of “storied residence” to show how the inclusion of the artificial world will lead to different questions regarding one’s resident environment, and perhaps a different emphasis on what is valued. My aim in raising these questions is to challenge the optimism that writers such as Karen Warren and Jim Cheney have shown in supporting relational-self theories and place-based ethics. I conclude that the challenge to develop a relational-self/place-based ethic does not appear to have been met within Western environmental philosophy, which has perpetuated a silence on the matter of our embedment in the artificial world.
book reviews
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Mary Evelyn Tucker Earth’s Insights: A Survey of Ecological Ethics from the Mediterranean Basin to the Australian Outback
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Michael Welsh In the Nature of Things: Language, Politics, and the Environment
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 3
Paul A. Trout Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos
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