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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
The Quest for New Directions
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3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Richard Cartwright Austin Beauty: A Foundation for Environmental Ethics
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Human awareness of natural beauty stimulates the formation of environmental ethics. I build from the insights of Jonathan Edwards, the American Puritan theologian. The experience of beauty creates and sustains relationships. Natural beauty is an aspect of that which holds things together, supporting life and individuation. Beauty joins experience to ethics. We experience beauty intuitively: it is an affecting experience which motivates thought and action. The experience of beauty gives us a stake in the existence of the beautiful. Ecology can explore the relationships of natural beauty scientifically: it may be a science of the beauty of the Earth. The beauty of the world is necessary to its survival. Beauty is manifest in the interplay of interdependence with individuality, yielding diversity. The most beautiful relationships are those which recognize diversity, support individuality, and empathetically span the distinctions between beings. The sense of beauty is not a luxury, but a distinctive human vocation.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
G. E. Varner The Schopenhauerian Challenge in Environmental Ethics
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Environmental holism and environmental individualism are based on incompatible notions of moral considerability, and yield incompatible results. For Schopenhauer, every intelligible character--every irreducible instance of formative nature---defines a distinct moral patient, and for hirn both holistic entities and the individual members of higher species have distinguishable intelligible characters. Schopenhauer’s neglected metaethics thus can be used to generate an environmental ethics which is complete in the sense of synthesizing holism and individualism while simultaneously meeting TomRegan’s (implicit) demand that an environmental ethics make moral patients of natural objects.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Robert W. Loftin The Medical Treatment of Wild Animals
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The medical treatment of wild animals is an accepted practice in our society. Those who take it upon themselves to treat wildlife are well-intentioned and genuinely concerned about their charges. However, the doctoring of sick animals is of extremely limited value and for the most part based on biological illiteracy. It wastes scarce resources and diverts attention from more worthwhile goals. While it is not wrong to minister to wildlife, it is not right either. The person who refuses to do so has not violated any moral duty and is not necessarily morally callous. The treatment of wildlife is based on the mistaken belief that value lies in individual wild animals rather than the entire ecosystern. The genuine concern of those who doctor wild animals should be channeled in to more constructive directions.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Eric Katz Organism, Community, and the "Substitution Problem"
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Holistic accounts of the natural environment in environmental ethics fail to stress the distinction between the concepts of comnlunity and organism. Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” adds to this confusion, for it can be interpreted as promoting either a community or an organic model of nature. The difference between the two concepts lies in the degree of autonomy possessed by constituent entities within the holistic system. Members within a community are autonomous, while the parts of an organism are not. Different moral conclusions and environmental policies may result from this theoretical distinction. Treating natural entities as parts of an organism downgrades their intrinsic value as individual natural beings, since the only relevant moral criterion in an organic environmental ethic is the instrumental value that each natural entity has for the system. This ethic allows instances of the “substitution problem”-the replacement of one entity in an ecosystem by another provided that the overall functioning of the system is notharmed. However, since substitution violates environmentalist principles, for example, calling for respect for the integrity of the entities in a natural system, an organic environmental ethic must be rejected. A community model focuses on both the functional value and the autonomous intrinsie value of natural entities in a system. A community environmental ethic thus avoids the substitution problem.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
J. Baird Callicott Intrinsic Value, Quantum Theory, and Environmental Ethics
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The central and most recalcitrant problem for environmental ethics is the problem of constructing an adequate theory of intrinsic value for nonhuman natural entities and for nature as a whole. In part one, I retrospectively survey the problem, review certain classical approaches to it, and recommend one as an adequate, albeit only partial, solution. In part two, I show that the classical theory of inherent value for nonhuman entities and nature as a whole outlined in part one is inconsistent with a contemporary scientific world view because it assumes the validity of the classical Cartesian partition between subject and object which has been overturned by quantum theory. Based upon the minimalistic Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory, I then develop a theory of inherent value which does not repose upon the obsolete subject/object and ancillary fact/value dichotomies. In part three, I suggest that a more speculative metaphysical interpretation of quantum theory--one involving the notion ofreal internal relations anda holistic picture of nature-permits a principle of “axiological complementary,” a theory of “intrinsic”-as opposed to “inherent”-value in nature as a simple extension of ego.
book reviews
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Hwa Yol Yung The Return to Cosmology
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
Susan Power Bratton The Spirit of the Earth
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 7 > Issue: 3
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