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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Katie McShane Ecosystem Health
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On most understandings of what an ecosystem is, it is a kind of thing that can be literally, not just metaphorically, healthy or unhealthy. Health is best understood as a kind of well-being; a thing’s health is a matter of retaining those structures and functions that are good for it. While it is true both that what’s good for an ecosystem depends on how we define the system and that how we define the system depends on our interests, these facts do not force us to the conclusion that an ecosystem has no good of its own. Ecosystems and persons can have goods of their own in spite of the fact that the schemes we use to categorize them are matters that we decide upon.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Rachel Brown Righting Ecofeminist Ethics: The Scope and Use of Moral Entitlement
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Rights have been criticized as incorporating features that are antithetical to ecofeminism: rights are allegedly inherently adversarial; they are based on a conception of the person that fails to reflect women’s experience, biased in an illegitimate way toward humans rather than nonhumans, overly formal, and incapable of admitting the importance of emotion in ethics. Such criticisms are founded in misunderstandings of the ways in which rights operate and may be met by an adequate theory of rights. The notions of entitlement and immunity that flow from a conception of rights have great use and potential in environmental ethics. Nonetheless, our understanding of moral rights must be revised in order to realize this potential. The usual attribution of moral rights is structurally arbitrary because obligations arising from others’ rights are unjustifiably distinguished from other sorts of obligations for which the same sorts of justificatory bases obtain. Once this arbitrariness is recognized, there remains little reason not to extend a continuous framework of entitlement toward nonhuman animals and nature more generally. Reassessing moral rights according to a basic principle of respect delivers an integrated account of our moral obligations toward one another, and a satisfactory basis from which to account for our diverse obligations toward nonhuman animals and the environment.
discussion papers
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Kimberly Smith Black Agrarianism and the Foundations of Black Environmental Thought
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Beginning with the nineteenth-century critiques of slave agriculture, African American writers have been centrally concerned with their relationship to the American landscape. Drawing on and responding to the dominant ideology of democratic agrarianism, nineteenth-century black writers developed an agrarian critique of slavery and racial oppression. This black agrarianism focuses on property rights, the status of labor, and the exploitation of workers, exploring how racial oppression can prevent a community from establishing a responsible relationship to the land. Black agrarianism serves as an important starting point for understanding black environmental thought as it developed in the twentieth century, and for illuminating the connections between social justice and environmental stewardship.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Derek Bell Environmental Justice and Rawls’ Difference Principle
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It is widely acknowledged that low-income and minority communities in liberal democratic societies suffer a disproportionate burden of environmental hazards. Is “environmental injustice” a necessary feature of liberal societies or is its prevalence due to the failure of existing liberal democracies to live up to liberal principles of justice? One leading version of liberalism, John Rawls’ “justice as fairness,” can be “extended” to accommodate the concerns expressed by advocates of environmental justice. Moreover, Rawlsian environmental justice has some significant advantages over existing conceptions of environmental justice.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Adrian Del Caro Nietzschean Considerations on the Environment
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The superhuman (Übermensch) is a human being attuned to his or her environment in such a way that human and environment function as a whole, in keeping with Zarathustra’s prophecy that the superhuman is the meaning of the Earth. Nietzsche’s rhetorical embrace of the Earth in Thus Spoke Zarathustra is actually grounded in the works of the 1870s, in particular Human, All Too Human, whichdoes not receive its due in critical engagement but which requires serious critical revisitation if the ecological Nietzsche is to be heard above his own rhetoric. When Nietzsche’s writings are considered from the standpoint of ecology, it emerges that the phrase “the superhuman shall be the meaning of the Earth” is not so much focused on a debatable vision of future humanity, but instead addresses strategies for inhabiting our finite Earth in a spirit of creativity, partnership, and meaningful daily interaction. The hotly debated doctrine of will to power, for example, undergoes clarification and grounding when subjected to ecological standards, resulting in a will to empowerment whose beneficiaries are not only humans who assume proper stewardship of the Earth, but all Earthly life forms insofar as the meaning of Earth must include them.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Alan Carter Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Seamus Carey Eco-Phenomenology: Back to the Earth
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Robert Kirkman Democracy’s Dilemma: Environment, Social Equity, and the Global Economy
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Kelly A. Parker On Dewey as an Environmental and Eco-Justice Philosopher
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 26 > Issue: 3
Christopher Belshaw In Defense of Environmental Philosophy
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