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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Paul Steidlmeier The Morality of Pollution Permits
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The Clean Air Act of 1990 sets forth a system of tradable permits in pollution allowances. In this article, I examine the moral implications of such marketable allowances as a means to achieving a clean air environment. First, I examine the “ends sought” in environmental policy by discussing foundational ethical perspectives. Second, I set forth a framework for judging the moral suitability of various means. I conclude with reflections on interest group power, public policy, and the legitimacy of “second best” solutions.
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Alastair S. Gunn Toward a Transpersonal Ecology: Developing New Foundations for Environmentalism
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Clive L. Spash Economics, Ethics, and Long-Term Environmental Damages
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Neither environmental economics nor environmental philosophy have adequately examined the moral implications of imposing environmental degradation and ecosystem instability upon our descendants. A neglected aspect of these problems is the supposed extent of the burden that the current generation is placing on future generations. The standard economic position on discounting implies an ethicaljudgment concerning future generations. If intergenerational obligations exist, then two types of intergenerational transfer must be considered: basic distributional transfers and compensatory transfers. Basic transfers have been the central intergenerational concern of both environmental economics and philosophy, but compensatory transfers emphasize obligations of a kind often disregarded.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Greta Gaard Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward an Ecocentric Approach
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Elspeth Whitney Lynn White, Ecotheology, and History
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Controversy about Lynn White’s thesis that medieval Christianity is to blame for our current environmental crisis has done little to challenge the basic structure of White’s argument and has taken little account of recent work done by medieval scholars. White’s ecotheological critics, in particular, have often failed to come to grips with White’s position. In this paper, I question White’s reading of history on both interpretative and factual grounds and argue that religious values cannot be treated independently of the political, economic, and social conditions that sustain them. I conclude that medieval religious values were more complex than White suggests: rather than causing technological innovation, they more likely provided a justification for other activity taking place for other reasons.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
James Fieser Callicott and the Metaphysical Basis of Ecocentric Morality
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According to the theory of ecocentric morality, the environment and its many ecosystems are entitled to a direct moral standing, and not simply a standing derivative from human interests. J. Baird Callicott has offered two possible metaphysical foundations for ecocentrism that attempt to show that inherent goodness can apply to environmental collections and not just to individual agents. I argue that Callicott’s first theory fails because it relies on a problematic theory of moral sentiments and that his second theory fails because it rests on an unsupported parallel between the breakdown of the subject-object dichotomy suggested by quantum theory and an alleged actualization of morality upon the interaction of environmental collections with consciousness. Finally, I argue that Callicott overrates the need for a metaphysical grounding of inherent value, and that the metaphysical question has little bearing on the normative issue of ecocentrism.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Karen J. Warren, Jim Cheney Ecosystem Ecology and Metaphysical Ecology: A Case Study
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We critique the metaphysical ecology developed by J. Baird Callicott in “The Metaphysical Implications of Ecology” in light of what we take to be the most viable attempt to provide an inclusive theoretical framework for the wide variety of extant ecosystem analyses—namely, hierarchy theory. We argue that Callicott’s metaphysical ecology is not consonant with hierarchy theory and is, therefore, an unsatisfactory foundation for the development of an environmental ethic.
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Roland C. Clement On Conservative Misinterpretation
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
J. Baird Callicott On Warren and Cheney’s Critique of Callicott’s Ecological Metaphysics
11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Greta Gaard Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit
12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
After Fifteen Years
14. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Frederick Ferré Sustainability: Economics, Ecology, and Justice
15. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
16. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Henry J. Folse, Jr. The Environment and the Epistemological Lesson of Complementarity
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Following discussions by Callicott and Zimmerman, I argue that much of deep ecology’s critique of science is based on an outdated image of natural science. The significance of the quantum revolution for environmental issues does not lie in its alleged intrusion of the subjective consciousness into the physicists’ description of nature. Arguing from the viewpoint of Niels Bohr’s framework of complementarity,I conclude that Bohr’s epistemological lesson teaches that the object of description in physical science must be interaction and that it is now mistaken to imagine that physical science aims to represent nature in terms of properties it possesses apart from interaction.
17. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Keekok Lee Instrumentalism and the Last Person Argument
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The last person, or people, argument (LPA) is often assumed to be a potent weapon against a purely instrumental attitude toward nature, for it is said to imply the permissible destruction of nature under certain circumstances. I distinguish between three types of instrumentalism—strong instrumentalism (I) and two forms of weak instrumentalism: (IIa), which includes the psychological and aesthetic use ofnature, and (IIb), which focuses on the public service use of nature—and examine them in terms of two scenarios, the après moi, le déluge and the “ultimate humanization of nature” scenarios. With regard to the first, I show that LPA is irrelevant to all the three versions of instrumentalism. With regard to the second scenario, I show that even though it is redundant insofar as (I) is concerned and irrelevant insofar as (IIa) is concerned, it is, surprisingly, effective against (IIb), despite the fact that as a form of weak instrumentalism it is not the target of LPA. In addition, I examine the implications of LPA for the three variants when it is applied to the preservation rather than the destruction of nature and conclude that LPA is effective against (I) and (IIb), but not as effective against (IIa), which can recognize a permission, though not a duty, to save nature.
18. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Thomas H. Birch Moral Considerability and Universal Consideration
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One of the central, abiding, and unresolved questions in environmental ethics has focused on the criterion for moral considerability or practical respect. In this essay, I call that question itself into question and argue that the search for this criterion should be abandoned because (1) it presupposes the ethical legitimacy of the Western project of planetary domination, (2) the philosophical methods that are andshould be used to address the question properly involve giving consideration in a root sense to everything, (3) the history of the question suggests that it must be kept open, and (4) our deontic experience, the original source of ethical obligations, requires approaching all others, of all sorts, with a mindfulness that is clean of any a priori criterion of respect and positive value. The good work that has been doneon the question should be reconceived as having established rules for the normal, daily consideration of various kinds of others. Giving consideration in the root sense should be separated from giving high regard or positive value to what is considered. Overall, in this essay I argue that universal consideration—giving attention to others of all sorts, with the goal of ascertaining what, if any, direct ethical obligations arise from relating with them—should be adopted as one of the central constitutive principles of practical reasonableness.
19. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Marvin Henberg The Wilderness Condition
20. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4