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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
News and Notes
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
From the Editor: Looking Forward
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the holmes rolston, iii early career prize
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
J. Michael Scoville Historical Environmental Values
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John O’Neill, Alan Holland, and Andrew Light usefully distinguish two ways of thinking about environmental values, namely, end-state and historical views. To value nature in an end-state way is to value it because it instantiates certain properties, such as complexity or diversity. In contrast, a historical view says that nature’s value is (partly) determined by its particular history. Three contemporary defenses of a historical view need to be clarified: (1) the normatively relevant history; (2) how historical considerations are supposed to instruct environmental decision making; and (3) the relative importance of historical and end-state considerations. There are multiple reasons for including historical considerations in an account of environmental values. For example, knowledge of a natural object’s history can add depth and texture to our appreciation of that object. Further, if we were blind to the relevant history, we could not adequately understand and defend environmental policy goals such as preserving the potentials of natural systems or maintaining ecological health, for these goals appear to have irreducibly historical aspects. While historical considerations are important, such considerations are insufficient to guide our normative thinking about nature and how it should be dealt with practically. But they succeed in broadening and deepening our understanding of the nature and sources of environmental value.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Karen Bardsley Mother Nature and the Mother of All Virtues: On the Rationality of Feeling Gratitude toward Nature
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Feelings of gratitude toward the natural environment are problematic because gratitude seems to be an appropriate response to someone’s intentional decision to benefit us, and ecosystems that sustain human life do not choose to do so. In accordance with one defense of the rationality and appropriateness of gratitude toward nature, intentional action can be regarded as not being a necessary condition for feelings of gratitude. Instead, gratitude toward an entity can be considered both rational and appropriate when (1) that entity is the source of a valuable and unearned benefit and (2) the benefit did not result from some accidental and/or regrettable feature of that entity’s character. According to this analysis, we can provide a rational ground for gratitude to particular ecosystems by citing the valuable and unearned benefits that we receive from those systems and by demonstrating that these benefits result from elements within the ecosystems that are neither regrettable nor accidental.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
John Gowdy, Lisi Krall, Yunzhong Chen The Parable of the Bees: Beyond Proximate Causes in Ecosystem Service Valuation
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Many ecological and environmental economists take a microeconomic approach to envi­ronmental valuation and view the macroeconomy as an amalgam of firms whose primary task is to efficiently allocate scarce resources. In this framework, replacing freely provided ecosystem services with costly human-provided substitutes is by definition inefficient. Although destroying and replacing the free gifts of nature can sometimes be an economic benefit, in the case of apple-tree pollination in Maoxian County, China, the positive economic benefits do not justify eliminating the natural processes. To the contrary, the Maoxian case illustrates the danger of allowing the logic of the market and its apologetic models to drive conservation policy. The conflict between the market economy and the natural world must be recognized and addressed in a more substantial way. The bees of Maoxian County are a parable for the relationship between humans and the natural world and show clearly the danger of leaving the fate of nature to the whims of the markets even if prices are “corrected.”
discussion papers
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Roger Paden, Laurly K. Harmon, Charles R. Milling Philosophical Histories of the Aesthetics of Nature
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Beginning with Ronald Hepburn’s path-breaking essay, “Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty,” which helped establish the modern discipline of environmental aesthetics, philosophers have provided sketches of what, after Hegel, might be called “philosophical histories of the aesthetics of nature.” These histories are remarkably similar and can easily be blended together to create a “received history” of the discipline. This history has subtly influenced work in the field. Unfortunately, it is not completely accurate and, as a result, has had a misleading effect. A more accurate and expanded alternative history calls into question the received history’s view both on the origins of the field in arts-based aesthetic theories and on the nature and value of the aesthetic categories, “the picturesque” and “the sublime.” These categories were not borrowed from philosophy of art and inappropriately applied to nature, but instead were developed to appraise landscapes, which unlike natural objects could only rarely be judged beautiful since they are almost never symmetrical or ordered.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Marion Hourdequin, David G. Havlick Restoration and Authenticity Revisited
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One of the central worries raised in relation to ecological restoration concerns the problem of authenticity. Robert Elliot, for example, has argued that restoration “fakes nature.” On this view, restoration is like art forgery: it deceptively suggests that its product was produced in a certain way, when in fact, it was not. Restored landscapes present themselves as the product of “natural processes,” when in actuality, they have been significantly shaped by human intervention. For Elliott, there seem to be two sources of inauthenticity in ecological restoration: first, the restored landscape is inauthentic because its natural genealogy has been disrupted by the intervention of humans: it has lost its authentic natural identity; second, the restored landscape is inauthentic because it pretends to be something it is not: it obscures its own history. We argue that the first sense of authenticity is problematic; however, the second concern—about obscuring history—is important. Case studies involving the naturalization of former military lands can be used to tease out more fully the ways in which landscapes can be “inauthentic” by misleading observers about their genealogy. In such landscapes, it is not departure from “the original” per se that is the source of inauthenticity; rather, restored landscapes fail to be authentic when they deceptively obscure critical elements of their past.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Howard J. Curzer, Mark Wallace, Gad Perry et al. Environmental Research Ethics
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Animal research in laboratories is currently informed by the three R’s (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement), a common-sense theory of animal research ethics. In addition a fourth R (Refusal) is needed to address research plans that are so badly conceived that their chances of gaining any knowledge worth the animal suffering they cause are nil. Unfortunately, these four R’s do not always yield workable solutions to the moral problems faced regularly by wildlife researchers. It is possible to develop analogs in the sphere of environmental research to these four R’s, creating a common-sense theory of environmental research ethics that will provide significant guidance to researchers and win acceptance from almost all stakeholders. This theory can be articulated in terms of twenty basic principles.
book reviews
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Donald A. Brown Kenneth Sayre: Unearthed: The Economic Roots of Our Environmental Crisis
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Bernard Daley Zaleha Robert H. Nelson: The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion versus Environmental Religion in Contemporary America
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Christopher Groves Denis G. Arnold, ed.: The Ethics of Global Climate Change
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Karen A. Franck, Hanaa Hamdi Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi: Food Justice
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