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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Don Sherman Grant, II Religion and the Left: The Prospects of a Green Coalition
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Religionists and leftists have aligned themselves with several green causes, but have yet to engage each other in a real discussion of environmental issues. In this paper, I try to establish the basis for a dialogue between those segments of the religionist and leftist traditions that appear to have the most promise for forging a united green front. I label these two subgroups constructive postmodern religionistsand constructive postmodern leftists. I summarize the key ideas shared by each group, discuss how each can rectify some of the weaknesses of the other, and consider some potential philosophical barriers to their union. I conclude by issuing a call for dialogue on the issues presented here.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
John R. E. Bliese Traditionalist Conservatism and Environmental Ethics
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Environmentalism is usually thought to be a liberal political position, but the two primary schools of thought within the conservative intellectual movement support environmentalism as well. The free market perspective has received considerable attention for its potential contributions to environmental protection, but the traditionalist perspective has not. In this essay, I consider several important principles of traditionalist conservatism. The traditionalists are not materialists and are highly critical of our consumer culture. They reject ideology and stress piety toward nature, the intergenerational character of society, and prudence in political and social action. These basic principles are a solid foundation for environmentalism.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Erazim Kohák Varieties of Ecological Experience
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I draw on the resources of Husserlian phenomenology to argue that the way humans constitute nature as a meaningful whole by their purposive presence as hunter/gatherers (nature as mysterium tremendum), as herdsmen/farmers (nature as partner), and as producer/consumers (nature as resource) affects the way they respond to its distress—as to a resource failure, as a to flawed relationship, or asto a fate from which “only a god could save us.” I find all three responses wanting and look to a different experience, that of nature as an endangered species, as the ground for a more adequate response of accepting responsibility for our freedom, with the consequence of imposing ethical limits on the way that humans relate to all being, not to humans alone.
discussion papers
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Damian Cox On the Value of Natural Relations
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In “A Refutation of Environmental Ethics” Janna Thompson argues that by assigning intrinsic value to nonhuman elements of nature either our evaluations become (1) arbitrary, and therefore unjustified, or (2) impractical, or (3) justified and practical, but only by reflecting human interest, thus failing to be truly intrinsic to nonhuman nature. There are a number of possible responses to her argument, some of which have been made explicitly in reply to Thompson and others which are implicit in the literature. In this discussion I describe still another response, one which takes Thompson’s concerns about value seriously, but does not assign nature intrinsic or nonanthropocentric value. I suggest a relational environmental ethic as the basis for a genuinely ethical stance toward nature in which our relations to nature are a principal object of ethical concern.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Patrick Hayden Gilles Deleuze and Naturalism: A Convergence with Ecological Theory and Politics
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Some philosophers in recent discussions concerned with current ecological crises have attempted to address and sometimes to utilize poststructuralist thought. Yet few of their studies have delineated the ecological orientation of a specific poststructuralist. In this paper, I provide a discussion of the naturalistic ontology embraced by the contemporary French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, one of the most significant voices in poststructuralism. I interpret Deleuze as holding an ecologically informed perspective that emphasizes the human place within nature while encouraging awareness of and respect for the differences of interconnected life on the planet. I also suggest that this view may be joined with Deleuze’s innovative ethical-political approach, which he refers to as micropolitics, to create new ways of thinking and feeling that support social and political transformation with respect to the flourishing of ecological diversity. Finally, I briefly show how Deleuze’s ecological orientation compares to several versions of ecological theory and politics.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Peter Wenz Philosophy Class as Commercial
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Because commercialism tends toward environmental degradation, selection and treatment of the philosophical canon are environmental matters. Environmentalists and others who teach early modern and modern philosophy should, I argue, alter typical pedogogical approaches that (usually unwittingly) reinforce common assumptions underlying commercialism and promote anti-environmental perspectives. Typical treatments of Hobbes, Locke, Descartes, Kant, Hume, and Bentham focus on human selfishness, mind-body dualism, the subjectivity of values, and the mathematical nature of reality, positions that are frequently identified as contributing causes both of the environmental crisis and of commercialism. The alternative, I argue, is to place canonical thinkers in historical perspective within a history of ideas that also includes such writers as Montaigne, Erasmus, Reid, Burke, Goethe, and Emerson. Such courses can be historically accurate, pedagogically sound, and environmentally benign.
book reviews
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Robert Frodeman Inhabiting the Earth: Heidegger, Environmental Ethics, and the Metaphysics of Nature
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
William O. Stephens The Case for Vegetarianism: Philosophy for a Small Planet
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