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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Leslie Pickering Francis Global Systemic Problems and Interconnected Duties
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Many problems in environmental ethics are what have been called “global systemic problems,” problems in which what happens in one part of the world affects preservationist efforts elsewhere. Restoration of the Everglades is one such example. If global warming continues, the Everglades may well be flooded within the next quarter to half century and all restoration efforts will be for naught. Yet, the United States government is both pursuing restorationist efforts and withdrawing from the Kyoto Protocol on emissions of greenhouse gases. One aspect of global systemic problems concerns whether there are interconnections between the preservationist obligations of the locals and the duties of others. There are three main lines of arguments for concluding that there are, indeed, interconnected obligations in such cases. First, the consequentialist case for imposing duties on locals assumes that others do not have inconsistent consequentialist obligations. In addition, a related consequentialist case can be made that when problems are systemic, others have positive supportive duties. Second, a weak principle of reciprocity supports the interconnectedness of obligations. Insistence that someone has an obligation that benefits you implies the duty not to act to undermine the efforts of that person to fulfill that obligation. Third, a weak principle of fairness—that it is only fair to expect one person to bear the burdens of producinga collective good if others have obligations to do their cooperative part—supports interconnected obligations with regard to global systemic problems. Because all three arguments point to the same conclusion, there is a very strong case for interconnected obligations as part of the solution to global systemic problems—problems that are all too prevalent in our world today.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Sharon Rowe, James D. Sellman An Uncommon Alliance: Ecofeminism and Classical Daoist Philosophy
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Classical philosophical Daoism and ecofeminism converge on key points. Ecofeminism’s critique of Western dualistic metaphysics finds support in Daoism’s nondualistic, particularist, cosmological framework, which distinguishes pairs of complementary opposites within a process of dynamic transformation without committing itself to a binary, essentialist position as regards sex and gender. Daoism’s epistemological implications suggest a link to ecofeminism’s alignment with a situational and provisional model of knowledge. As a transformative philosophy, the cluster of concepts that give specificity to the Daoist notion of transformation offers content and direction for the notion of transformation central to many ecofeminist philosophies. These affinities offer possibilities for developing the relevance of both philosophies to bear upon a theoretical understanding of how we can live in a respectful and sustainable relationship with our natural environment.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Steven Vogel The Nature of Artifacts
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Philosophers such as Eric Katz and Robert Elliot have argued against ecological restoration on the grounds that restored landscapes are no longer natural. Katz calls them “artifacts,” but the sharp distinction between nature and artifact doesn’t hold up. Why should the products of one particular natural species be seen as somehow escaping nature? Katz’s account identifies an artifact too tightly with the intentions of its creator: artifacts always have more to them than what their creators intended, and furthermore the intention behind some artifacts might explicitly be to allow things to happen unpredictably. Indeed, to build any artifact is to employ forces that go beyond the builder: in this sense all artifacts are natural. Recognizing the naturalness of artifacts can help encourage the key environmental virtues of self-knowledge and humility.
discussion papers
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Tyler Cowen Policing Nature
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Utility, rights, and holistic standards all point toward some modest steps to limit or check the predatory activity of carnivores relative to their victims. At the very least, we should limit current subsidies to nature’s carnivores. Policing nature need not be absurdly costly or violate common-sense intuitions.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Jennifer Bates An Inquiry into the Nature of Environmentally Sound Thinking
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Many philosophers advocate a change in our thinking in order to move beyond an anthropocentric view of the environment. In order to achieve the kind of thinking that makes for sound environmental thinking, we have to look more deeply into the nature of thought and to revise the relation between thought directed outward to the world and thought directed inwardly to thought itself. Only with such insight can we begin to think soundly about the environment. Thought exhibits a characteristic that makes it hard to think environmentally soundly. This characteristic is the inability to think of something without at thesame time making it one’s property. In other words, if sound environmental thinking means moving beyond anthropocentric attitudes and, for example, extending moral categories to creatures other than humans, then we need to address how our thinking turns everything into “mine” before we go about establishing a theory about how that extension should take shape. Hegel is the philosopher who most deeply analyses the inevitable, yet dangerous role of “mining”—in the sense of “making mine,” in the act of thinking. This potentially problematic character of thought risks making a number of otherwise soundenvironmental ways of thinking, unsound. However, we can provide a balance for this problematic characteristic in our thinking.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Deane Curtin Being Human: Ethics, Environment, and Our Place in Nature
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Amy Knisley Aesthetics and the Environment
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Ben A. Minteer Wolves and Human Communities
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Maurie J. Cohen Making Better Environmental Decisions: An Alternative to Risk Assessment
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Anna L. Peterson Deep Ecology and World Religions: New Essays on Sacred Ground
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Robert Kirkman The Greening of Conservative America
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13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
David Johns The Ir/relevance of Environment Ethics
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