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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Bart Gruzalski Gandhi’s Contributions to Environmental Thought and Action
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Vinay Lal raises doubts about Gandhi’s status as an environmentalist but argues that Gandhi had “a profoundly ecological view of life.” I take issue with Lal’s claims and, to set the record straight, describe Gandhi’s contributions to environmental though and action. When we look at the aims of contemporary environmental spokespersons and activists, Gandhian themes are dominant. Gandhian biocentrism and Gandhi’s recommendation not to harm even nonsentient life unnecessarily are familiar in contemporary environmental thinking. Gandhian non-violence is both a technique of environmental activists and, for some, one of the constituents of the world for which they struggle. Gandhi emphasized simple living, an important theme for many who are concerned about looming ecological crises. Taking a broader perspective, Gandhi criticized what we today call globalization and encouraged, in its place, the decentralization of economic activities. Gandhi’s emphasis on decentralization and local economic self-reliance led to the Chipko movement in India. Gandhi’s emphasis on small-scale economies, on self-reliant communities, and on appropriate technology paved the way for the “small is beautiful” approach. Gandhi’s recommendation that we live in self-reliant rural communities, if implemented, would significantly decrease that consumption which is causing climate change and straining the capacity of the planet.
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Yuriko Saito Ecological Design: Promises and Challenges
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In recent decades, designers, architects, and landscape architects concerned with their contribution to today’s ecological problems started formulating a new way of designing and creating artifacts. Called “ecological design” and promoted as a corrective alternative to conventional practice, its basic tenet is to draw from nature a guidance for design, rather than imposing our design on nature. This newapproach signifies a welcome change, first by calling attention to the ecological implications of artifacts, a subject matter generally neglected in environmental ethics, and, second, by providing useful, specific suggestions regarding the ecologically responsible way of designing artifacts. However, the conceptual basis and resultant implications of ecological design deserve and need critical analyses. I argue that the basic premise of ecological design—that nature should act as the authority—is problematic by examining analogous strategies from social, political, moral, and aesthetic realms, as well as by exploring its specific application in the promotion of “native” plants in gardens. I end with another issue often neglected in the practice of ecological design: our aesthetic response to the created objects.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Neil A. Manson Formulating the Precautionary Principle
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In part one, I identify the core logical structure of the precautionary principle and distinguish it from the various key concepts that appear in the many different formulations of the principle. I survey these concepts and suggest a program of further conceptual analysis. In part two, I examine a particular version of the precautionary principle dubbed “the catastrophe principle” and criticize it in light of its similarities to the principle at work in Pascal’s Wager. I conclude with some suggestions for advocates of the precautionary principle who wish their formulation to avoid the pitfalls confronting the catastrophe principle.
discussion papers
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
J. Douglas Rabb The Vegetarian Fox and Indigenous Philosophy
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I critique the oppressive society in which Michael A. Fox’s Deep Vegetarianism was written and which Fox too attempts to criticize and change. Fox proves himself to be among a handful of Western philosophers open-minded enough to acknowledge and attempt to learn from North American indigenous values and world views. For this reason, he should be commended. In defending his thesis that a vegetarian life style is morally preferable, he draws upon indigenous thought, feminist philosophy, and antidomination theories, arguing that speciesism, racism, and sexism can all be traced back to the same mind-set of oppression, domination and exploitation. Unfortunately, identifying the oppressive mind-set is not ipso facto escaping it. I show that Fox in his explication and use of indigenous thought actually perpetuates the very oppression and exploitation he argues against.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Eric Moore The Unequal Case for Animal Rights
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I argue that the equal rights views of Tom Regan and Evelyn B. Pluhar must be rejected because they have unacceptable consequences. My objection is similar to one made in the literature by Mary Anne Warren, but I develop it in more detail and defend it from several plausible responses that an equal rights theorist might make. I formulate a theory, a moderate form of perfectionism, that makes a valuedistinction between moral agents and moral patients according to which although both have rights, these rights are not equal. This theory avoids the unacceptable consequences of the equal rights view and is immune to the marginal cases arguments that typical full-personhood theories succumb to. This moderate perfectionism generates an obligation for people to be vegetarians (in most cases) and to severely curtail animal experimentation.
book reviews
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Donald A. Brown Privileged Goods: Commoditization and Its Impact on Environment and Society
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7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Lise Sedrez Exporting Environmentalism: U.S. Multinational Chemical Corporations in Brazil and Mexico
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Jennifer Baker The Environmental Crisis: Understanding the Value of Nature
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Ariel Salleh Ecofeminist Philosophy: A Western Perspective on What It Is and Why It Matters
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Nancy Coppola And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Catriona Sandilands Undomesticated Ground: Recasting Nature as Feminist Space
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 24 > Issue: 3
Ian S. Bay A Response to Steven Vogel’s “The End of Nature”
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