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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Donald C. Lee On the Marxian View of the Relationship between Man and Nature
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Marx holds that mankind has developed from nature and in mutual interaction with nature: nature is not an “other” but is man’s body. Capitalism is a necessary stage in mankind’s historical development of the mastery of nature, but it regards nature as an “other” to be exploited. Thus, a further historical development is necessary: the overcoming of the dichotomy between man as subject and nature as object.Capitalism bases its concept of wealth on unnecessary production rather than on socially useful production and on the maximization of true leisure and free and creative activity for all. It creates excess pollution and depletes nonrenewable resources as a result of this wasteful, exploitative, unnecessary production. A Marxian solution to environmental problems involves the replacement of capitalism with a rational humane, environmentally unalienated social order. Unfortunately, the actual practice of Marxism has not generally been in accord with its own theory. Such rational, humane social orders have not yet been instituted, but they must be soon. We must take one aspect of Marx’s ideas to its logical conclusion: Marxist practice has been, at best, homocentric, but now it must overcome that limitation and truly see nature as our “body.” Marxism must become ecologically aware; mankind must become the steward of its “body”: the ecosystem upon which it depends and which now depends upon it for its health (homeostasis).
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Alastair S. Gunn Why Should We Care about Rare Species?
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Concern for the fate of rare species leads us to ask why the extermination of species is wrong. No satisfactory account can be given in terms of animal rights, and a speciesist perspective can yield at best only a case for preservation of those species which enough people happen to care about. An attempt is made to analyze the concept of rarity, and its relation to value. Finally, it is suggested that the problem can be resolved only in terms of an environmental ethic, according to which the existence of each species, and of ecological wholes, is held to have intrinsic value.
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4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
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discussion papers
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Daniel L. Dustin, Leo H McAvoy Hardining National Parks
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The “tragedy of the commons” argument developed by Garrett Hardin is applied to problems associated with the increasing use of the national parks in the United States. The relevance of his argument to such problems is illustrated by a discussion of the proposals included in the recent Draft General Management Plan for Yosemite National Park. Implications for the future management of Yosemite andother public recreation resources conclude the article.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
J. A. Doeleman On the Social Rate of Discount: The Case for Macroenvironmental Policy
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Concern for the rapidly growing scale and intensity of the human exploitation of the environment, in particular the alienation of natural ecosystems, but also resource exhaustion, pollution, and congestion, leads one to wonder about the short time. horizons allowed for in decision making. Time preference is dictated by the rate of interest, allowing in practice a horizon often not exceeding several decades. I argue that this is unsatisfactory. Some minimal social rate of discount should not be enforced. Instead, it is more feasible to set absolute environmental standards, thereby introducing quantity constraints on our decision making, within which time preference can be permitted to find its own level. This acknowledges that the myopia of human vision may not be a flaw but rather a biological design which has served us weIl in evolution. It may, therefore, be better to change the rules by introducing self-imposed collective constraints than to try to change the shortsightedness of people in their day-to-day grass-roots decision making.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
W. Murray Hunt Are Mere Things Morally Considerable?
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Kenneth Goodpaster has criticized ethicists like Feinberg and Frankena for too narrowly circumscribing the range of moral considerability, urging instead that “nothing short of the condition of being alive” is a satisfactory criterion. Goodpaster overlooks at least one crucial objection: that his own “condition of being alive” may aIso be too narrow a criterion of moral considerability, since “being in existence” is at least as plausible and nonarbitrary a criterion as is Goodpaster’s. I show that each of the arguments that Goodpaster musters in support of his criterion can be used equally weIl to bolster “being in existence” as a test of moral considerability. Moreover, I argue that “being in existence” appears to be a stronger criterion overall, since it is broader. Until or unless a fuller justification is forthcoming of “being alive” as a satisfactory criterion of moral considerability-a justification which must demonstrate that “mere things,” included under the condition of “being in existence,” do not deserve moral consideration--Goodpaster’sthesis is confronted with a serious problem.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Anthony J. Povilitis On Assigning Rights to Animals and Nature
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Watson argues that living entities do not have intrinsic or primary rights, such as the right to existence, unless they are capable of fulfilling reciprocal duties in a self-conscious manner. I suggest that (1) Watson’s “reciprocity framework” for rights and duties is excessively anthropocentric, (2) that it is founded on the incorrect assumption that the Golden Rule refers to mutual rather than individual duties, and (3) that Watson arbitrarily equates moral rights with primary rights. Since “intrinsic” rights are, in effect, assigned rights, the assignment of rights to a given entity is viewed as a function of its perceived value. Thus, in emphasizing differences between man and other living entities, Watson chooses Cartesian values in assigning rights. Conversely, the ecological and evolutionary relatedness of living things forms the basis for considering rights within the naturalist tradition.
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Russell Goodman Taoism and Ecology
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Although they were in part otherworldly mystics, the Taoists of ancient China were also keen observers of nature; in fact, they were important early Chinese scientists. I apply Taoist principles to some current ecological questions. The principles surveyed include reversion, the constancy of cyclical change, wu wei (“actionless activity”), and the procurement of power by abandoning the attempt to “take” it. On the basis of these principles, I argue that Taoists would have favored such contemporary options as passive solar energy and organic fanning.
book reviews
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
David L. Hull On Human Nature
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
John B. Cobb, Jr. Animal Rights: A Christian Assessment of Man’s Treatment of Animals
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
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13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
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