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Displaying: 1-20 of 2018 documents


1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
News and Notes
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articles
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Nicholas Geiser Reciprocity as an Environmental Virtue
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Three recent developments in environmental ethics—interest in virtue and character, concern for psychological realism, and collective action required to address global ecological challenges—are in tension with one another. For example, virtue ethical approaches in environmental ethics face objections from “situationist” critique and the strategic dimensions of collective action. This article proposes a conception of reciprocity as a response to this challenge for environmental virtue ethics. Environmental ethics has been traditionally skeptical of reciprocity due to its associations with self-interest, instrumental rationality, and well-defined contractual interactions. However, reciprocity can also be understood as a moral disposition of social agents who wish to respond proportionately and fittingly to the benefits they receive from others. Reciprocity is a psychologically robust moral disposition appropriate to contexts of strategic interaction underlying a variety of conservation and common pool resource challenges. As an environmental virtue, reciprocity’s example demonstrates that environmental virtue ethics need not give up psychological realism or concern with collective action.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Corsa John Cage, Henry David Thoreau, Wild Nature, Humility, and Music
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John Cage and Henry David Thoreau draw attention to the indeterminacy of wild nature and imply humans cannot entirely control the natural world. This paper argues Cage and Thoreau each encourages his audience to recognize their own human limitations in relation to wildness, and thus each helps his audience to develop greater humility before nature. By reflecting on how Thoreau’s theory relates to Cage’s music, we can recognize how Cage’s music contributes to audiences’ environmental moral education. We can appreciate the role of music in helping audiences to develop values conducive to environmentally sustainable practices.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Matthew Crippen Africapitalism, Ubuntu, and Sustainability
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Ubuntu originated in small-scale societies in precolonial Africa. It stresses metaphysical and moral interconnectedness of humans, and newer Africapitalist approaches absorb ubuntu ideology, with the aims of promoting community wellbeing and restoring a love of local place that global free trade has eroded. Ecological degradation violates these goals, which ought to translate into care for the nonhuman world, in addition to which some sub-Saharan thought systems promote environmental concern as a value in its own right. The foregoing story is reinforced by field research on African hunting operations that appear—counterintuitively—to reconcile conservation with business imperatives and local community interests. Though acknowledging shortcomings, I maintain these hunting enterprises do, by and large, adopt Africapitalist and ubuntu attitudes to enhance community wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and long-term economic viability. I also examine how well-intentioned Western conservation agendas are neocolonial impositions that impede local control while exacerbating environmental destruction and socioeconomic hardship. Ubuntu offers a conciliatory epistemology, which Africapitalism incorporates, and I conclude by considering how standard moral theories and political divisions become less antagonistic within these sub-Saharan frameworks, so even opponents can find common cause.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Manuel Rodeiro Justice and Ecocide: A Rawlsian Account
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According to an environmental application of Rawlsian principles of justice, the well-ordered society cannot tolerate the perpetration of certain environmental harms. This paper gives an account of those harms committed in the form of ecocide. The concept of ecocide is developed, as well as the ideal of eco-relational pluralism, as conceptual tools for defending citizens’ environmental interests. This paper aims to identify persuasive and reasonably acceptable justice claims for compelling states to curtail environmentally destructive activities through recourse to principles firmly established in the liberal tradition, while simultaneously exploring the limitations of such an approach.
book reviews
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Michael Paul Nelson J. Michael Scott, John A. Wiens, Beatrice Van Horne, and Dale D. Goble. Shepherding Nature: The Challenge of Conservation Reliance
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7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Bjørn Kristensen Lori Gruen, ed. Critical Terms for Animal Studies
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Samantha Noll David Kaplan. Food Philosophy: An Introduction
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
News and Notes
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articles
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Benjamin Hole Radical Virtue and Climate Action
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Radical virtue serves two distinct purposes: consolation in unfavorable circumstances, and prescription to achieve better ones. This paper maps out the theoretical nuances important for practical guidance. For a Stoic, radical virtue is a way to live well through environmental tragedy. For a consequentialist, it is an instrument to motivate us to combat climate change. For an Aristotelian, it is both. I argue that an Aristotelian approach fares the best, balancing the aim of external success with the aim of living well through practical wisdom. This involves criticizing assumptions about living well that underlie behaviors that contribute to climate change. Some might object virtue theory suffers from application problems, and an Aristotelian approach suffers even more because it does not tell the virtuous person how to negotiate her aims. In response, Aristotelian revision starts with moral perception that adds valuable content by navigating through the messiness.
11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Jorge Torres Plato’s Anthropocentrism Reconsidered
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Plato’s ideas on the value of nature and humankind are reconsidered. The traditional suggestion that his thought is ethically anthropocentric is rejected. Instead “Ethical Ratiocentrism” (ER) is the environmental worldview found in the dialogues. According to ER, human life is not intrinsically valuable, but only rational life is. ER is consistent with Plato’s holistic axiological outlook but incompatible with ethical anthropocentrism.
12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Katharine Wolfe Nourishing Bonds: The Ethics and Ecology of Nursing
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The care ethics tradition has long argued for the merits of understanding the self as relational. Inspired by this tradition, but also by ecofeminist philosophies that insist on the need to consider our wider ecological and interspecies connections, this paper focuses on the relational elements of breast/chestfeeding (most frequently referred to as ‘nursing’ for gender-neutrality) and their ethical implications. I show nursing to be an act that not only 1) connects us to one another through bonds of nourishment and care but also 2) reconnects us to our animal selves and enlivens connections to non-human animals. Moreover, I argue that nursing 3) exposes our entwinement in a web of ecological relationships through which the toxic harm we have wrought on our environment returns to us. To draw out the ethical implications of these connections, I introduce the concept of ‘relational vulnerabilities.’ Relational vulnerabilities are forged through our connections to others, be they bonds of dependence and need, historical harm and ongoing violence, love and joy, or all at once. I contend that all relational vulnerabilities call for ethical attention, yet, when it comes to nursing, these vulnerabilities are often neglected or, worse, made the targets of heinous abuse.
13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Rafael Rodrigues Pereira Virtue Ethics and the Trilemma Facing Sentiocentrism: Questioning Impartiality in Environmental Ethics
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This article aims to question the value of impartiality in environmental ethics by highlighting a problem internal to the bioethics approach known as sentiocentrism. The principle that all beings with the same degree of consciousness should receive the same moral treatment would lead to a trilemma, i.e., the need to choose among three morally unacceptable choices. I argue those problems are related to the premise, shared by Utilitarianism and rights-centered theories, that impartiality is the constitutive feature of the moral point of view. In the last part of my article, I discuss how this problem points to some advantages of a virtue ethics approach to environmental ethics.
book reviews
14. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Eileen Crist Trevor Hedberg. The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation: The Ethics of Procreation
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15. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Nathan Kowalsky Paul Wapner. Is Wildness Over?
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16. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
News and Notes
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features
17. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Dan Shahar Harm, Responsibility, and the Far-off Impacts of Climate Change
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Climate change is already a major global threat, but many of its worst impacts are still decades away. Many people who will eventually be affected by it still have opportunities to mitigate harm. When considering the avoidable burdens of climate change, it seems plausible victims will often share some responsibility for putting themselves into (or failing to get out of) harm’s way. This fact should be incorporated into our thinking about the ethical significance of climate-induced harms, particularly to emphasize the importance of differential abilities to get and stay out of harm’s way. Currently, many people face serious obstacles to reducing their vulnerability to climate change, such as poverty, lack of education, and political or legal obstacles to mobility. Climate policy discussions should do more to emphasize the alleviation of these sources of difficulties, thereby empowering people to choose what risks they will bear in a warming world.
18. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Christopher Preston, Trine Antonsen Integrity and Agency: Negotiating New Forms of Human-Nature Relations in Biotechnology
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New techniques for modifying the genomes of agricultural organisms create difficult ethical challenges. We provide a novel framework to replace worn-out ethical lenses relying on ‘naturalness’ and ‘crossing species lines.’ Thinking of agricultural intervention as a ‘negotiation’ of ‘integrity’ and ‘agency’ provides a flexible framework for considering techniques such as genome editing with CRISPR/Cas systems. We lay out the framework by highlighting some existing uses of integrity in environmental ethics. We also provide an example of our lens at work by looking at the creation of ‘cisgenic’ (as opposed to ‘transgenic’) potatoes to resist late potato blight. We conclude by highlighting three distinct advantages offered by the integrity framework. These include a more fitting way to look at the practice of scientific researchers, a more inclusive way to consider ethics around agriculture, and a more flexible way to provide the ethical grounds for regulation in different cultural contexts.
19. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Benjamin Howe The Personal Responsibility to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
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Many theorists who argue that individuals have a personal responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) tie the amount of GHGs that an individual is obligated to reduce to the amount that an individual releases, or what is often called a carbon footprint. The first section of this article argues that this approach produces standards that are too burdensome in some contexts. Section two argues that this approach produces standards of responsibility that are too lenient in other contexts and sketches an alternative account of personal responsibility that treats it as an obligation to take certain kinds of opportunities to reduce GHGs, regardless of how little or much gas an individual releases through her own actions. Section three argues that this alternative conception of personal responsibility is well positioned to rebut the Argument from Inconsequentialism, widely considered the most significant challenge to the assumption that individuals are capable of bearing a responsibility to reduce GHGs.
20. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Nina Witoszek, Martin Lee Mueller The Ecological Ethics of Nordic Children’s Tales: From Pippi Longstocking to Greta Thunberg
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For decades now, environmental philosophers from Arne Næss to Freya Mathews have dreamt of environmental ethics that “make things happen.” We contend such ethics can be found in Nordic children’s tales—those scriptures of moral guidance, and influential propellers of environmental action. In this essay we discuss the moral-imaginative worlds of fictitious in Nordic children’s tales, choosing some of the most canonical stories of the Nordics as our focal point. We argue the complex and often inconsistent philosophical mediations between human and more-than-human worlds as imagined by Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf, Thorbjørn Egner, or Tove Jansson are as viable philosophical works as other, more systematic studies in environmental ethics. Further, we argue that places, or indeed larger geographical regions, animate the moral imagination of the characters who live there, suggesting there is a reciprocal and mutually enhancing relationship between dwelling, thinking, and acting, between being animated and becoming animateur. Indeed, we may speak of this animated and animating, cultural-ecological topos as part of a genuine Nordic Ecosphere. Coruscating in this ecosphere are the sparkles of ‘literary ecological ethics,’ which influence human actions, not as much through analysis, documentation, or argument as through world-making stories, images, and models of environmental heroines.