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Environmental Ethics

Volume 44, Issue 3, Fall 2022
ISEE 2021 Special Issue

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Displaying: 1-6 of 6 documents

1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Allen Thompson Note from the Editor
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Marion Hourdequin, Allen Thompson Guest Editors' Introduction to the 2021 ISEE Special Issue
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3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Keje Boersma The Anthropocene as the End of Nature?: Why Recognizing Interventionism Is Key in Coming to Terms with the Anthropocene
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In this article, I address and argue against the tendency to understand the anthropocene as inaugurating the end of nature. I conduct two key moves. First, by way of an engagement with the concept of anthropocene technology I explain how understanding the anthropocene as the end of nature prevents us from recognizing what the anthropocene is all about: interventionism. Secondly, I illustrate how a nondualist understanding of the human-nature relation allows us to recognize interventionism as the hallmark of the anthropocene without falling back into the hierarchical human-nature conceptions that underlie interventionism. A nondualist framework that conserves the human-nature distinction helps us in our ability to relate critically to contemporary science and technology in the anthropocene. I illustrate the conceptual narrative of the article through the specific case of gene drive technology development.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Michael Aaron Lindquist Astroethics and the Non-Fungibility Thesis
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This paper approaches the question of terraforming—the changing of extraterrestrial environments to be capable of harboring earth-based life—by arguing for a novel conception of moral status that accounts for extraterrestrial bodies like Mars. The paper begins by addressing pro-terraforming arguments offered by James S. J. Schwartz before offering the novel account of moral status. The account offered builds on and modifies Keekok Lee’s No External Teleology Thesis (NETT), while defending a proposed Non-Fungibility Thesis (NFT). The NETT is modified and defended with specific reference to Lee’s work on artifactuality and transgenic organisms. The NFT builds on work around objectification and irreplaceability, offering an account that recognizes the importance of bearers of value above and beyond the mere value they purportedly possess. Finally, the plausibility of the account is established by an overview of its applicability to other possible candidates for moral status.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Anna Peterson Religion and the Possibility of a Materialist Environmental Ethic
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In Thinking Like a Mall, Steven Vogel proposes an environmental philosophy “after nature,” meaning one that rejects the division of the world into wild and humanized spaces. This division is false because environments are always constructed by people, who are enmeshed in landscapes and ecological processes. The opposition between wild and humanized parallels the religious division between sacred and profane, according to Vogel. He believes this dualism is an inextricable part of religious worldviews and thus that environmental philosophy must reject religion. This understanding of religion echoes the work of many scholars of religion, who define religion in terms of an opposition between sacred and profane. However, this approach fails to take into account the many traditions that do not divide the world this way. In many cultures, the sacred is connected to the profane much as the natural and the human are intertwined in Vogel’s materialist philosophy. This entanglement is evident in ecological restoration, in which human actions help construct processes that ultimately transcend human intentions and control. I argue that this is a kind of transcendence, which points to a way in which religious language can help us think about a post-natural environmental philosophy.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Lars Samuelsson The Cost of Denying Intrinsic Value in Nature
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Many people who claim to genuinely care about nature still seem reluctant to ascribe intrinsic value to it. Environmentalists, nature friendly people in general, and even environmental activists, often hesitate at the idea that nature possesses value in its own right—value that is not reducible to its importance to human or other sentient beings. One crucial explanation of this reluctance is probably the thought that such value—at least when attached to nature—would be mysterious in one way or another, or at least very difficult to account for. In addition, Bryan Norton’s influential convergence hypothesis states that, from a practical point of view, it makes no or little difference whether we ascribe intrinsic value to nature, given the depth and variety of instrumental value it possesses. In this paper, I argue that people who genuinely care about nature cannot avoid ascribing intrinsic value (in a certain sense) to it, if they want to be able to consistently defend the kind of claims about protecting nature they arguably want to make, i.e., claims to the effect that we ought to protect for instance nature areas and species. The cost of denying intrinsic value in nature is the cost of giving up a crucial resource to philosophically defend such claims.