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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
News and Notes
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features
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Christian Diehm Minding Nature: Val Plumwood’s Critique of Moral Extensionism
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It has been claimed that Val Plumwood’s work is vulnerable to the same charge of “assimi­lationism” that she has leveled against moral extensionist viewpoints. It is argued that while one might regard Plumwood’s position as suspect because of its emphasis on human-nature continuity, associating claims of continuity with assimilationism could lead one to seek a mode of relating to nature as absolutely other, a move which is claimed to be problematic for several reasons. Because the extensionist error is not simply that of acknowledging human-nature continuity, Plumwood’s position is not extensionist in any objectionable sense. This issue is connected up with the ongoing debate about “perspectival anthropocentrism” in environmental ethics; however, allowing for human epistemic locatedness does not force the conclusion that all environmental ethics is ultimately assimilationist.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Glenn Deliège The Cinquefoil Controversy: Restoring Relics between Managers and Purists
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According to Michael Soulé, the debate over whether we should or should not actively manage our nature preserves has driven a deep wedge between “wilderness purists,” who advocate a hands-off approach to nature, and “nature managers,” who want to give nature a helping hand whenever the “fullness of the biota” is under threat. Although both camps share the same formal goal, i.e., preserving “authentic nature,” managers and purists have differing views about what the “authenticity of nature” stands for. By introducing a third way of conceptualizing the authenticity of nature that holds the middle-ground between the authenticity of the purists and the managers—namely, natural areas as authentic relics—a bridge can be found between the two positions. As in the case of heath restorations in Flanders, Belgium, the theory of relics can provide an alternative way in which the concept of authenticity is used when evaluating preservation or restoration projects. Moreover, the conception of natural areas as relics is already tacitly at work within certain preservation and/or restoration practices. A comparison of the theory of relics with Robert Elliot’s anti-restoration thesis as put forward in Faking Nature shows that the theory of relics can, to a large degree, save Elliot’s anti-restorationist’s stance in a world that is waking up to the reality of the “end of nature,” while at the same time softening the rigid rejection of all restorative practices implied in the anti-restoration thesis.
discussion papers
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Michael P. Nelson Teaching Holism in Environmental Ethics
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Students who enroll in my environmental ethics courses often come with a background in ecology and natural resources. Moreover, they often point to this background when they express their frustration with, or outright rejection of, individualistic or atomistic moral theories that simply strive to include individual living things within the purview of a moral community. They ultimately evoke the concept of holism as the source of their frustration. Addressing this concern requires trying to make sense of both the concept of holism gener­ally and the supposed connection students sense between their training as young scientists and the attempt to ground a worthy environmental ethic. Many theories within the field of environmental ethics either evoke or rest upon the concept of holism. To date, however, the concept of holism has not been unpacked in any detail. To begin such an unpacking teachers need (1) to demonstrate how and when holism appears within the field of environmental ethics, (2) to explain the core idea underpinning holism and compare it to reductionism, and (3) to provide a general classification of how holism is employed in both a metaphysical and ethical sense within environmental ethics.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Jason Bell To the Tenth Generation: Homer‘s Odyssey as Environmental Ethics
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Homer’s Odyssey has long served as a touchstone for environmental writers, but is this text itself a work of environmental ethics? Homer portrays, as a major and consistent purpose, the environmentally destructive consequences of hedonism, and the environmentally beneficent consequences of conservation and sustainable agriculture. The evidence of The Odyssey suggests that public critical dialectic about the treatment of animals, soil, and forests was not unknown to the ancient Greek world. Further, The Odyssey can have relevance to modern environmental ethics, especially in Homer’s study of the relation between religion (especially its eating rituals) and the health of the natural environment. Finally, Homer teaches that it is not only possible but also worthwhile to code the arguments of environmental ethics in poetic/fictional terms.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Philip J. Ivanhoe Of Geese and Eggs: In What Sense Should We Value Nature as a System?
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In Conserving Natural Value, Holmes Rolston, III explores the question of why we should value nature as a system and illustrates the view he advocates with the story of the goose who lays golden eggs. The basic idea is that if we value the eggs, we should value the goose. By assuming that Rolston’s fundamental point about the value of nature as a system is war­ranted, it is possible to extend his line of inquiry by arguing that this evocative metaphor actually captures a number of distinct views, and that it is important both conceptually and practically to distinguish these different possibilities as we contemplate and defend the values of the natural world.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Kevin C. Elliott Nature in Common?
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Scott Friskics The Wilderness Debate Rages On: Continuing the Great New Wilderness Debate
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
David Storey Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
J. M. Dieterle Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Susan J. Armstrong Ecological Ethics and the Human Soul: Aquinas, Whitehead, and the Metaphysics of Value
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Aaron Simmons Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, and Kinship
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13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Wayne Ouderkirk The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability, and the Limits of Knowledge
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