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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
News and Notes
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Eugene Hargrove About This South American Issue
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3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Ricardo Rozzi Catalyzing an Interregional Planetary Dialogue on Environmental Philosophy
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4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Ricardo Rozzi South American Environmental Philosophy: Ancestral Amerindian Roots and Emergent Academic Branches
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At the beginning of the twenty-first century, South America hosts the world’s greatest di­versity of plants and most animal groups, as well as a variety of environmental movements, involving urban and rural communities. South American academic philosophy, however, has given little consideration to this rich biocultural context. To nourish an emergent regional environmental philosophy three main sources can be identified. First, a variety of ancient and contemporary ecological worldviews and practices offer a rich biocultural array of South American environmental thought that can be disclosed and valued through the work of cultural anthropology, liberation philosophy, liberation pedagogy, liberation theology, ecofeminism, and biocultural conservation. Second, some recent academic environmental philosophy research and teaching teams have been formed in South American universities with the support of the interdisciplinary United Nations Environmental Programme or based on the individual interests of some scattered scholars. Third, social movements have increasingly demanded the incorporation of environmental values into regional policies and decision-making processes. These three sources can foster intercultural, international, and transdisciplinary dialogues to further develop a South American environmental philosophy grounded in its precious biocultural diversity.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Patricia Noguera Augusto Angel-Maya and Environmental Philosophy in Colombia
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Some tendencies of Colombian environmental philosophical-ethical thought are being developed in the school of environmental thought at the National University of Colombia, Manizales Campus, thanks to the contributions of a group of thinkers who have undertaken the task of rethinking what has been thought. The thought of Augusto Angel-Maya inaugurated the Colombian environmental philosophy school of thought and his work has been followed by the voices of Jose Maria Borrero, Julio Carrizosa, Arturo Escobar, Guillermo Hoyos, Rubiel Ramírez, and Patricia Noguera. In their diverse approaches to environmental thought we find the creative powers of an alternative environmental vision that is crystallizing not only in Colombia, but throughout Latin America. Their voices have opened ways toward reflection on the emerging values of the relationships between humans and the web of life, the values that we all must construct if we want an “environmental society,” and the values that it is necessary to overcome by inaugurating new educational, political, economic, and cultural practices, as much as in our region as in other areas of the world.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Amós Nascimento, James Jackson Griffith Environmental Philosophy in Brazil: Roots, Intellectual Culprits, and New Directions
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Brazil has a long history of environmental problems, but philosophy seems to lag behind other disciplines that actively consider this history. Nonetheless, there is a sufficiently rich intellectual tradition to allow a genuine environmental philosophy to emerge. Based on a detailed overview of discussions pertaining to environmental reflection and activism in Brazil, three fields of tension in recent Brazilian environmental history—military developmentalism versus militant environmental activism, anthropocentric realism versus ecocentric utopia, and sustainable development versus strong sustainability—presuppose philosophical positions and represent three corresponding “intellectual culprits” that need to be addressed. Among emerging trends in environmental philosophy, two avenues of thought can be highlighted as promising for dispersing these “culprits”: ethnocultural pluralism and global environmental responsibility.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Daniel Eduardo Gutiérrez Environmental Thought in Argentina: A Panoramic View
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Unlike Columbian environmental philosophy, which achieves a certain degree of unity because of the influence of the writings of Augusto Angel-Maya, Argentinean environmental philosophy is more diverse and represents a panorama of views and approaches. Nevertheless, although they could not be said to be environmental philosophy as such, the writings of Rodolfo Kusch could make a significant contribution to environmental thought strongly anchored in the peculiarities of our culture. Alicia Irene Bugallo has worked on themes of ecophilosophy, and has introduced these themes to young people, educators, and the general public. Alcira Bonilla has introduced a type of eco-ethical humanism, avoiding physiocentrism or the sacralization of nature while moving away from anthropocentrism. Unlike Bugallo and Bonilla, whose positions are close to deep ecology, María Julia Bertomeu has emphasized the necessity of normative clarification of generalizable rules oriented toward environmental protection. The Marina Vilte School of the Confederation of Education Workers of the Argentine Republic has been an authentic catalyst by educating a new generation of educators in Argentina with a focus on environmental themes. A collaborative group of intellectuals working on critical thinking, created the journal Theomai, led by its coordinator Guido Galafassi, has elaborated a critique of our existing socio-environmental situation. With regard to the mass media, Miguel Grinberg and Antonio Brailovsky for several decades have been important in spreading concerns about environmental issues.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Alicia Irene Bugallo, María Teresa La Valle Some Initial Approaches to Environmental Philosophy in Argentina
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Specific legislation in Argentina followed in the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit, with increased citizen awareness and growing academic concern from various philosophical perspectives. The current lines of research of the main work groups include (a) interdisciplinary work on environ­mental ethics and global environmental justice focused on natural resources and ecosystems, (b) the ecologically appropriate roots of the cultural heritage of Western civilization, and (c) gestalt ontology, deep ecology, and ecosophy. The emergence of ecophilosophy has required environmental education to go beyond mere ecological training to include an understanding of the philosophical implications of managing and living with concerns for the environment. Interdisciplinary research has become a steadily growing and promising field that has brought together scholars from natural science, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and social science.
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Maria Luisa Eschenhagen Approaches to Enrique Leff’s Environmental Thought: A Challenge and a Venture that Enriches the Meaning of Life
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Enrique Leff holds that the profound causes of the environmental crisis are founded in dominant ways of knowing; that is to say, the crisis is rooted in the epistemological bases of modernity. Leff has systematically dedicated himself to proposing and constructing concepts that deconstruct modern suppositions, and at the same time, enable new ways of understanding and apprehending the world. His extensive work has succeeded in transcending and forging space for environmental thought, not only in education and environmental philosophy, but also in the areas of economics, sociology, and development. His central argument is that these problems are the result of a crisis of civilization, and he urges all of us to rethink the foundations of modern rationality underlying contemporary global society.
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Enrique Leff Latin American Environmental Thinking: A Heritage of Knowledge for Sustainability
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From the beginning of the environmental crisis, a constellation of ecosophies, theories, ideologies, discourses, and narratives have irrupted in the emergent complex ground of environmental philosophy and political ecology. In this non-unifyable field of forces, sociological analysis has been intended to sketch maps and derive typologies to order the different views and standpoints in science, ecological thinking, and environmental ethics so as to guide academic research or political action. From this will to set and settle differences in thought and strategy, a diversity of environmentalisms has emerged; the lines are drawn from North to South, rich to poor, masculine to feminine, naturalism to culturalism. Environmentalisms differentiate their sources, attachments, and derivations from mother theories and their approaches from different disciplines. Thus, the prefix eco- or the adjective environmental are attached to traditional disciplines. Latin American environmental thinking draws its sources from critical philosophical thought; it differs from other systems of thought by a radical epistemological concept of environment; and it acquires its identity from the cultural heritage of its peoples and the ecological potentials of its territories.
book reviews
11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Thomas Heyd Amanda Boetzkes. The Ethics of Earth Art
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Jessica Christie Ludescher JoAnn Carmin and Julian Agyeman, eds. Environmental Inequalities beyond Borders: Local Perspectives on Global Injustices
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13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Helena Siipi Gregory E. Kaebnick, ed. The Ideal of Nature: Debates about Biotechnology and the Environment
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14. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Referees 2012
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15. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 4
Index for 2012
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16. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Kenneth Shockley Thinning the Thicket: Thick Concepts, Context, and Evaluative Frameworks
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When Aldo Leopold claimed that “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community,” he made a conceptual connection between descriptive features of the biotic community and a normative judgment. In conjoining descriptive and normative elements within a single concept Leopold seemed to have been invoking what are now referred to as thick evaluative concepts. Two interpretations of thick concepts that have received increasing attention in environmental ethics are considered here. On one interpretation, the “particularist interpretation,” thick concepts are used to point to the way in which particular features of our environment move us to act. On the other, the “generalist interpretation,” thick concepts are used to invoke a default evaluative standing inseparable from a descriptively characterized kind. Although these interpretations are complementary, without the general interpretation we cannot make ethical sense of the particular instance that moves us to act. Even if particular instantiations of thick concepts have a central and crucial place in environmental ethics, they are only normatively significant within a framework shaped by comparatively thin concepts. Thus, appeals to particularity and locality must be tempered by a broader evaluative context, and the costs of failing to do so are not merely theoretical. As we address global problems through locally motivated action, we need an environmental ethic that makes sense of local values in broad global terms.
17. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Robert Stecker Epistemic Norms, Moral Norms, and Nature Appreciation
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In environmental aesthetics a variety of proposals have been advanced about relevant norms that constrain appropriate aesthetic appreciation of nature. Some of these proposals are about cognitive or epistemic norms in that the authors claim that nature ought to be cognized in certain ways or that we ought to form certain beliefs about nature rather than others, and that when we do so, it will significantly constrain our aesthetic appreciation of nature. Another proposal is that moral norms rule out certain forms of aesthetic appreciation of natural objects and promote others. If these proposals are correct, then different kinds of value interact in the realm of environmental aesthetics. Evaluation of these proposals inevitably involves two parts. One first has to ask whether the purported norms exist. If they do, one has to assess their bearing on evaluative aesthetic judgments. Although there are weak epistemic norms of nature appreciation, they lack important implications sometimes associated with them. The situation is even less promising for moral norms: no one has successfully identified a moral norm that constrains aesthetic appreciation of nature.
discussion papers
18. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Chigbo Joseph Ekwealo Metaphysical Background to Igbo Environmental Ethics
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Igbo metaphysics places emphasis on accommodation and respect for all entities in nature irrespective of their ontological placement or status. The belief is that all that is or exists must be accorded their due. It is this consciousness that defines their relationship with the environment, which is basically holistic (ecocentric) to such an extent that environment in all its nature, either as animate (sentient or less sentient) or inanimate, are intricately accommodated in the scheme of things. Human beings are at times prefixed with the attributes of these metaphysical entities. Thus, although there is the inevitable metaphysical duality found in reality, the relationships, for the Igbo, are complimentary, friendly, and non-competitive.
19. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Neil A. Manson Anthropocentrism, Exoplanets, and the Cosmic Perspective
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Nonanthropocentric environmental philosophy is a response to two kinds of anthropocentrism: personal anthropocentrism, according to which being human involves the possession of some or all of a set of properties typical of persons, and biological anthropocentrism, according to which being a human involves being a member of the species Homo sapiens. Nonanthropocentric environmental philosophy itself becomes problematic when it is viewed in terms of two arguments that it often seems to imply: the “Planetary Perspective Argument,” which rejects both forms of anthropocentrism and seeks to maximize good outcomes and minimize bad outcomes in terms of life’s point of view, the land’s point of view, or the global ecosystem’s point of view, and the “Cosmic Perspective Argument,” which is structurally analagous to the planetary perspective argument but has much more sweeping empirical premises driven by recent work in cosmology, astrobiology, and exoplanet science. The ultimate problem for environmental philosophers is to find a way to remain nonanthropocentric without succumbing to the indifference of the cosmic perspective.
20. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
William Jordan, III, Nathaniel F. Barrett, Kip Curtis, Liam Heneghan, Randall Honold Foundations of Conduct: A Theory of Values and Its Implications for Environmentalism
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In their effort to emphasize the positive role of nature in our lives, environmental thinkers have tended to downplay or even to ignore the negative aspects of our experience with nature and, even when acknowledging them, have had little to offer by way of psychologically and spiritually productive ways of dealing with them. The idea that the experience of value begins with the experience of existential shame—arising from awareness of the limitations that define the self—needs to be explored. The primary purpose of the “technologies of the imagination”—myth, symbol, ritual and the arts—is to provide a passage through this shame to the experience of values such as community, meaning, beauty, and the sacred and, through these experiences, to inscribe them into conscience. The implications of this idea for environmental thinking and practice can be explored in two areas involving strong engagement with nature: ecological restoration and the production and eating of food. An environmentalism that fails to provide productive ways of dealing with existential shame may well prove inadequate to the task of providing means for achieving a healthy, sustain­able relationship between humans and the rest of nature.