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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Allen Thompson Note from the Editor
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Marion Hourdequin, Allen Thompson Guest Editors' Introduction to the 2021 ISEE Special Issue
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3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Keje Boersma The Anthropocene as the End of Nature?: Why Recognizing Interventionism Is Key in Coming to Terms with the Anthropocene
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In this article, I address and argue against the tendency to understand the anthropocene as inaugurating the end of nature. I conduct two key moves. First, by way of an engagement with the concept of anthropocene technology I explain how understanding the anthropocene as the end of nature prevents us from recognizing what the anthropocene is all about: interventionism. Secondly, I illustrate how a nondualist understanding of the human-nature relation allows us to recognize interventionism as the hallmark of the anthropocene without falling back into the hierarchical human-nature conceptions that underlie interventionism. A nondualist framework that conserves the human-nature distinction helps us in our ability to relate critically to contemporary science and technology in the anthropocene. I illustrate the conceptual narrative of the article through the specific case of gene drive technology development.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Michael Aaron Lindquist Astroethics and the Non-Fungibility Thesis
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This paper approaches the question of terraforming—the changing of extraterrestrial environments to be capable of harboring earth-based life—by arguing for a novel conception of moral status that accounts for extraterrestrial bodies like Mars. The paper begins by addressing pro-terraforming arguments offered by James S. J. Schwartz before offering the novel account of moral status. The account offered builds on and modifies Keekok Lee’s No External Teleology Thesis (NETT), while defending a proposed Non-Fungibility Thesis (NFT). The NETT is modified and defended with specific reference to Lee’s work on artifactuality and transgenic organisms. The NFT builds on work around objectification and irreplaceability, offering an account that recognizes the importance of bearers of value above and beyond the mere value they purportedly possess. Finally, the plausibility of the account is established by an overview of its applicability to other possible candidates for moral status.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Anna Peterson Religion and the Possibility of a Materialist Environmental Ethic
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In Thinking Like a Mall, Steven Vogel proposes an environmental philosophy “after nature,” meaning one that rejects the division of the world into wild and humanized spaces. This division is false because environments are always constructed by people, who are enmeshed in landscapes and ecological processes. The opposition between wild and humanized parallels the religious division between sacred and profane, according to Vogel. He believes this dualism is an inextricable part of religious worldviews and thus that environmental philosophy must reject religion. This understanding of religion echoes the work of many scholars of religion, who define religion in terms of an opposition between sacred and profane. However, this approach fails to take into account the many traditions that do not divide the world this way. In many cultures, the sacred is connected to the profane much as the natural and the human are intertwined in Vogel’s materialist philosophy. This entanglement is evident in ecological restoration, in which human actions help construct processes that ultimately transcend human intentions and control. I argue that this is a kind of transcendence, which points to a way in which religious language can help us think about a post-natural environmental philosophy.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 3
Lars Samuelsson The Cost of Denying Intrinsic Value in Nature
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Many people who claim to genuinely care about nature still seem reluctant to ascribe intrinsic value to it. Environmentalists, nature friendly people in general, and even environmental activists, often hesitate at the idea that nature possesses value in its own right—value that is not reducible to its importance to human or other sentient beings. One crucial explanation of this reluctance is probably the thought that such value—at least when attached to nature—would be mysterious in one way or another, or at least very difficult to account for. In addition, Bryan Norton’s influential convergence hypothesis states that, from a practical point of view, it makes no or little difference whether we ascribe intrinsic value to nature, given the depth and variety of instrumental value it possesses. In this paper, I argue that people who genuinely care about nature cannot avoid ascribing intrinsic value (in a certain sense) to it, if they want to be able to consistently defend the kind of claims about protecting nature they arguably want to make, i.e., claims to the effect that we ought to protect for instance nature areas and species. The cost of denying intrinsic value in nature is the cost of giving up a crucial resource to philosophically defend such claims.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Anna Deplazes-Zemp Are People Part of Nature? Yes and No: A Perspectival Account of the Concept of ‘Nature’
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The question of whether or not people are part of nature is relevant to discuss humans’ role on earth and their environmental responsibilities. This article introduces the perspectival account of the concept of ‘nature,’ which starts from the observation that we talk about the environment from a particular, human perspective. In this account, the term ‘nature’ is used to refer to those parts of and events in the environment we perceive as being shaped by typically human activities. Humans themselves are part of nature insofar as they participate in and are products of natural processes. Therefore, in this account, nature is not only the passive environment, but also something active and generative that does not operate human creativity, but rather and it in shaping our environment. According to the perspectival account, the ‘nature’ concept expresses a particular relationship between the human agent and the non-human environment, which can be the starting point for normative theory.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Matthew Hall Empathy for Plants
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Empathy, and its role in human-human and human-animal relationships, has been discussed at length in recent years. Empathy for plants has received little to no attention. In this essay I briefly examine existing theory about human-plant empathy, primarily Marder’s account of a projective empathy. I use contemporary scholarship by Dan Zahavi, as well as phenomenological accounts of empathy, to query this understanding of empathy and to lay the conceptual groundwork for developing an account of empathy for plants in line with Max Scheler’s embodied empathy. In doing so, I sketch an account of the basis for human-plant empathy, including the gestures and behaviors that an empathy for plants may pay particular heed to. The essay concludes by outlining how such an empathy for plants may be developed.
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Kyle Michael James Shuttleworth Authenticity Beyond the Anthropocene: Self-realization and Symbiosis in Naess and Watsuji
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In this paper, an ecologically extended ethic of authenticity is developed in dialogue with the Norwegian environmentalist Arne Naess and the Japanese ethicist Watsuji Tetsurō. More specifically, Naess’s concept of Self-realization is supplemented and supported with Watsuji’s ethic of authenticity (本来性) and phenomenology of climate (風土). And the ecological potential of Watsuji’s thought is realized in relation to Naess’s ideas of human responsibility and symbiosis. After establishing an ecologically extended ethic of authenticity, the practical application of this concept is then demonstrated in relation to satoyama and the preservation of nature in Japan. Whilst the intended outcome is to develop an ecologically extended ethic of authenticity, a secondary aim is to illustrate the benefit and importance of cross-cultural dialogue to advance philosophical thought and understanding.
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Anna Wienhues, Anna Deplazes-Zemp Otherness-based Reasons for the Protection of (Bio)Diversity
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Different arguments in favor of the moral relevance of the concept of biodiversity (e.g., in terms of its intrinsic or instrumental value) face a range of serious difficulties, despite that biodiversity constitutes a central tenet of many environmentalist practices and beliefs. That discrepancy is considerable for the debate on potential moral reasons for protecting biodiversity. This paper adds a new angle by focusing on the potential of the concept of natural otherness—specifically individual and process otherness in nature—for providing additional moral reasons in favor of the protection of biodiversity as variety. Four arguments are presented. Two arguments draw on the individual natural otherness of nonhuman living beings and two additional arguments draw on the process otherness of active nature. The upshot is that each of these arguments—if successful—provides a moral reason in favor of the protection of biodiversity.
book reviews
11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Philip J. Walsh Peter Dauvergne. AI in the Wild: Sustainability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 2
Mark Woods Emmanuel Kreike. Scorched Earth: Environmental Warfare as a Crime against Humanity and Nature
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13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Allen Thompson Notes from the Editor
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14. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Marion Hourdequin, Allen Thompson Editors' Introduction to the 2020 ISEE Special Issue
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15. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Blake Francis Climate Change Injustice
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Many climate change ethicists argue wealthy nations have duties of justice to combat climate change. However, Posner and Weisbach disagree because there is a poor fit between the principles of justice and the problem of climate change. I argue in this paper that Posner and Weisbach’s argument relies on what Judith Shklar calls “the normal model of justice,” the view that injustice results when principles are violated. Applying Shklar’s critique of normal justice, I argue that Posner and Weisbach’s argument limits injustice to include complaints that match rules and principles, shielding the unjust from responsibility and assuming falsely that judgments about injustice can be made from a singular perspective. Drawing on Shklar, this paper develops an account of climate change as a complement to mainstream climate ethicists. On this account, injustice results from indifference and the voices of those impacted by climate change and climate change policy have priority.
16. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Rachel Fredericks CLIMATE LEGACY: A Newish Concept for the Climate Crisis
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Individual and collective agents, especially affluent ones, are not doing nearly enough to prevent and prepare for the worst consequences of the unfolding climate crisis. This is, I suggest, partly because our existing conceptual repertoires are inadequate to the task of motivating climate-stabilizing activities. I argue that the concept CLIMATE LEGACY meets five desiderata for concepts that, through usage, have significant potential to motivate climate action. Contrasting CLIMATE LEGACY with CARBON FOOTPRINT, CLIMATE JUSTICE, and CARBON NEUTRALITY, I clarify some advantages of thinking in terms of the former. I conclude by discussing some climate legacy-enhancing practical proposals that merit consideration.
17. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Yasha Rohwer Infringing upon Environmental Autonomy with the Aim of Enabling It
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Part of what makes the environment valuable is its autonomy. There are some who think that any human influence on an environment is necessarily autonomy-compromising because it is a form of human control. In this article, I will assume human influence on the environment necessarily undermines autonomy. However, I will argue, even given this assumption, it is still possible for the intervention to enable autonomy in the long run. My focus is on genetic intervention into organisms, because some might think human influence in these cases cannot dissipate. I argue this is mistaken and, borrowing a concept from botany, I argue genes, even genes inserted into a genome by humans, can “naturalize.” Furthermore, they can function in ways that are autonomy-enabling to the individual and to the system to which the organism belongs.
18. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Daniel Weltman Covert Animal Rescue: Civil Disobedience or Subrevolution?
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We should conceive of illegal covert animal rescue as acts of “subrevolution” rather than as civil disobedience. Subrevolutions are revolutions that aim to overthrow some part of the government rather than the entire government. This framework better captures the relevant values than the opposing suggestion that we treat illegal covert animal rescue as civil disobedience. If animals have rights like the right not to be unjustly imprisoned and mistreated, then it does not make sense that an instance of animal rescue will be justifiable only if it meets criteria for justified civil disobedience, e.g., the requirement that the civil disobedient not rescue more animals than would be necessary to communicate their message. Thus, the framework of subrevolution is a more apt way to analyze animal rescue.
book reviews
19. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Jeremy David Bendik-Keymer Thomas Nail. Theory of the Earth
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20. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 44 > Issue: 1
Rebeka Ferreira Jennie C. Stephens. Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership On Climate and Energy
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