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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Stephen Quilley The Land Ethic as an Ecological Civilizing Process: Aldo Leopold, Norbert Elias, and Environmental Philosophy
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Aldo Leopold in “The Land Ethic” made the case for an environmental ethic as both a moral imperative and an unfolding historical process. In The Civilising Process, Norbert Elias shows how, in all societies, the molding of personality and the internalization of affective constraints on behavior are linked to long-term processes of social development. In terms of a common root in Darwinian/Humean naturalism, an understanding of the land ethic as an “ecological civilizing process” can shed light on the sociogenetic mechanisms which are transforming, albeit slowly, the “foundations of conduct” toward the environment. In this transformation, expanded notions of kinship and proximity provide the basis for the deontological identification of community with the biosphere.
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
John Nolt The Move from Is to Good in Environmental Ethics
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Moves from is to good—that is, principles that link fact to value—are fundamental to environmental ethics. The upshot is fourfold: (1) for nonanthropogenic goods, only those moves from is to good are defensible which conceive goodness as goodness for biotic entities; (2) goodness for nonsentient biotic entities is contribution to their autopoietic functioning; (3) biotic entities also function “exopoietically” to benefit related entities, and these exopoietic benefits are on average greater than their own goods; and (4) the most general is-to-good principles that are defensible (and hence the ones of greatest importance for environmental ethics) concern a realm of nonanthropogenic goodness that encompasses both living and nonliving nature.
discussion papers
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Roman Briggs The Greening of Heart and Mind: A Love Story
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Some environmentalists have argued that an effective ecological conscience may be rooted in a perspective that is either anthropocentric or sentiocentric. But, neither seems to have had any substantial effect on the ways in which our species treats nature. In looking to successfully awaken the ecological conscience, the focus should be on extending moral consideration to the land (wherein doing so includes all of the soils, waters, plants, animals, and the collectivity of which these things comprise) by means of coming to love the land. Coming to love the land involves coming to view the land’s interests as our own—and, conferring upon the land a kind of moral patient-hood. In order to perceive the land’s “subjectivity,” and so, to come to love the land, we must relearn the way to look at the land by viewing its personality through the lens of he or she who can already do so, i.e., the nature writer.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Matthew Hall Plant Autonomy and Human-Plant Ethics
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It has recently been asserted that legislative moves to consider plants as ethical subjects are philosophically foolish because plants lack autonomy. While by no means the sole basis or driving criterion for moral behavior, it is possible to directly challenge skeptical attitudes by constructing a human-plant ethics centered on fundamental notions of autonomy. Autonomous beings are agents who rule themselves, principally for their own purposes. A considerable body of evidence in the plant sciences is increasingly recognizing the capacity of plants to assess, perceive, and act on their environment. The primary purpose of their doing so is to generate the conditions for their own flourishing. With these plant purposes in mind, it is evidentially inappropriate to treat plants purely as instruments. In this age of environmental crisis, knowledge of plant intelligence and autonomy opens up a new debate on respecting and promoting the well-being of the plants that make life on Earth possible.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Rita Turner The Discursive Construction of Anthropocentrism
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Our businesses, policies, and lifestyles cause unexamined consequences for other people and other living beings, and exact sweeping destruction on the very ecosystems which support all life, including our own. A major factor contributing to this destructive behavior is the anthropocentric character of the dominant Western world view, which conceives of the nonhuman living world as apart from and less important than the human world, and which conceptualizes nonhuman nature—including animals, plants, ecological systems, the land, and the atmosphere—as inert, silent, passive, and valuable only for its worth as a resource for human consumption. This anthropocentric conceptual framework is constructed, transmitted, and reproduced in the realm of discourse, in all of the modes and avenues through which we make and express cultural meaning. We need to make explicit the ways that mainstream Western and American discourse promotes anthropocentrism and masks, denies, or denigrates interdependence, and we need to find ways to reformulate and reframe our discouse if we are to produce the sort of ecological consciousness that will be essential for creating a sustainable future.
book reviews
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Geoffrey Frasz Character and Environment: A Virtue-Oriented Approach to Environmental Ethics
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7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Costas Panayotakis Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed from Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Michael Kilivris Nature’s Edge: Boundary Explorations in Ecological Theory and Practice
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Eric Katz A Theory of General Ethics: Human Relationships, Nature, and the Built Environment
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Wendy Lynne Lee Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Michael S. Carolan Genetically Modified Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Geoffrey Frasz The Howl of the Predator
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