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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Judith N. Scoville Value Theory and Ecology in Environmental Ethics: A Comparison of Rolston and Niebuhr
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The objective of Holmes Rolston, III’s writings has been the development of an “ecologically formed” environmental ethics based both on environmental values and ecological description. I show how recasting Rolston’s value theory in terms of H. Richard Niebuhr’s relational value theory can clarify and strengthen this project. Niebuhr developed a theory of value in which value is found in relationships and value systems are constructed in relation to centers of value. Niebuhr’s contextual method, with which Rolston’s methodology has substantial affinity, is particularly open to the use of such sciences as ecology. I conclude that this recasting of Rolston’s important work in terms of relational value and contextual method can clarify the use of ecology in ethics (including the is/ought dichotomy) and can contribute to ethical reflection on such difficult problems as the spotted owl controversy.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Brian K. Steverson Contextualism and Norton’s Convergence Hypothesis
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Toward Unity among Environmentalists is Bryan Norton’s most developed effort to surmount the frequently intractable debate between anthropocentrists and nonanthropocentrists. Norton argues that the basic axiological differences between the two positions have become irrelevant at the level of policy formation. His thesis is that the two camps converge when dealing with practical goals and aims for environmental management. I argue that Norton’s approach falls significantly short of establishing such a convergence because of the overall methodological framework for policy formation that he defends. The key problem with that framework is that it fails to provide for the degree of species protection most suitable to the nonanthropocentrist position.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Deborah Slicer Is There an Ecofeminism–Deep Ecology “Debate”?
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I discuss six problems with Warwick Fox’s “The Deep Ecology–Ecofeminism Debate and Its Parallels” and conclude that until Fox and some other deep ecologists take the time to study feminism and ecofeminist analyses, only disputes—not genuine debate—will occur between these two parties. An understanding of the six issues that I discuss is a precondition for such a debate.
discussion papers
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Leslie Paul Thiele Nature and Freedom: A Heideggerian Critique of Biocentric and Sociocentric Environmentalism
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A reformulation of our understanding of freedom is required if we are adequately to confront the environmental crisis. Engaging the debate between biocentric ecologists and sociocentric ecologists, I argue that the biocentric effort to ascribe rights (negative liberty) to nature is misbegotten. In turn, I suggest that the sociocentric effort to seek ecological realignment through the extension of human reason (positive liberty) is equally problematic. Martin Heidegger, who rejects both “negative” and “positive” notions of liberty, offers an understanding of human freedom that constitutes an ecologically attuned alternative.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
James P. Sterba From Biocentric Individualism to Biocentric Pluralism
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Drawing on and inspired by Paul Taylor’s Respect for Nature, I develop a view which I call “biocentric pluralism,” which, I claim, avoids the major criticisms that have been directed at Taylor’s account. In addition, I show that biocentric pluralism has certain advantages over biocentric utilitarianism (VanDeVeer) and concentric circle theories (Wenz and Callicott).
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Wim J. van der Steen The Demise of Monism and Pluralism in Environmental Ethics
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Peter Wenz has recently distinguished various forms of moral pluralism in an effort to dissolve the controversy over monism and pluralism. I argue that the distinctions are not really helpful once the methodology and the substance of science are brought to bear on ethics. Theories in ethics and science alike are subject to context-dependent methodological trade-offs. Hence, the category of theories should be heterogeneous. Monism and pluralism are at cross-purposes since they endorse different unanalyzed notions of theory. Awareness of heterogeneity among theories is helpful in dismissing the controversy.
book reviews
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Harold Glasser Caring for Creation: An Ecumenical Approach to the Environmental Crisis
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