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101. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Matthew Crippen Africapitalism, Ubuntu, and Sustainability
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Ubuntu originated in small-scale societies in precolonial Africa. It stresses metaphysical and moral interconnectedness of humans, and newer Africapitalist approaches absorb ubuntu ideology, with the aims of promoting community wellbeing and restoring a love of local place that global free trade has eroded. Ecological degradation violates these goals, which ought to translate into care for the nonhuman world, in addition to which some sub-Saharan thought systems promote environmental concern as a value in its own right. The foregoing story is reinforced by field research on African hunting operations that appear—counterintuitively—to reconcile conservation with business imperatives and local community interests. Though acknowledging shortcomings, I maintain these hunting enterprises do, by and large, adopt Africapitalist and ubuntu attitudes to enhance community wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and long-term economic viability. I also examine how well-intentioned Western conservation agendas are neocolonial impositions that impede local control while exacerbating environmental destruction and socioeconomic hardship. Ubuntu offers a conciliatory epistemology, which Africapitalism incorporates, and I conclude by considering how standard moral theories and political divisions become less antagonistic within these sub-Saharan frameworks, so even opponents can find common cause.
102. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Manuel Rodeiro Justice and Ecocide: A Rawlsian Account
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According to an environmental application of Rawlsian principles of justice, the well-ordered society cannot tolerate the perpetration of certain environmental harms. This paper gives an account of those harms committed in the form of ecocide. The concept of ecocide is developed, as well as the ideal of eco-relational pluralism, as conceptual tools for defending citizens’ environmental interests. This paper aims to identify persuasive and reasonably acceptable justice claims for compelling states to curtail environmentally destructive activities through recourse to principles firmly established in the liberal tradition, while simultaneously exploring the limitations of such an approach.
103. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Nicholas Geiser Reciprocity as an Environmental Virtue
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Three recent developments in environmental ethics—interest in virtue and character, concern for psychological realism, and collective action required to address global ecological challenges—are in tension with one another. For example, virtue ethical approaches in environmental ethics face objections from “situationist” critique and the strategic dimensions of collective action. This article proposes a conception of reciprocity as a response to this challenge for environmental virtue ethics. Environmental ethics has been traditionally skeptical of reciprocity due to its associations with self-interest, instrumental rationality, and well-defined contractual interactions. However, reciprocity can also be understood as a moral disposition of social agents who wish to respond proportionately and fittingly to the benefits they receive from others. Reciprocity is a psychologically robust moral disposition appropriate to contexts of strategic interaction underlying a variety of conservation and common pool resource challenges. As an environmental virtue, reciprocity’s example demonstrates that environmental virtue ethics need not give up psychological realism or concern with collective action.
104. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
News and Notes
105. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
News and Notes
106. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Eric Pommier, Luca Valera Introduction to this Special Issue
107. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Ricardo Rozzi, Alexandria Poole, Francisca Massardo Environmental Philosophies' Inter-Continental Dialogues
108. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Stephen M. Gardiner Motivating (or Baby-Stepping Toward) a Global Constitutional Convention for Future Generation
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Recently, I have been arguing for a global constitutional convention focused on protecting future generations. This deliberative body would be akin to the American constitutional convention of 1787, which gave rise to the present structure of government in the United States. It would confront the “governance gap” that currently exists surrounding concern for future generations. In particular, contemporary institutions tend to crowd out intergenerational concern, and thereby facilitate a “tyranny of the contemporary.” They not only fail to address a basic standing threat to humanity and other species, but help that threat become manifest. Climate change is a prime example. In this paper, I sketch out a natural argumentative path toward the global constitutional convention and argue that is difficult to resist. I also insist that we should be evenhanded in the way we treat the proposal. Those who put their faith in alternatives (e.g., the emergence of a great leader, a grand alignment of interests, bottom up climate anarchism, or national governments understood as effective intergenerational stewards) must also confront standard complaints about naivety, urgency, threats to democratic values, and the like. Moreover, the global constitutional convention has the advantage of addressing the problem we face head on.
109. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Ronald Sandler Should We Engineer Species in Order to Save Them?
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There are two strategies for engineering species for conservation purposes, de-extinction and gene drives. Engineering species for conservation purposes is not in principle wrong, and on common criteria for assessing conservation interventions there may well be cases in which de-extinction and gene drives are evaluated positively in comparison to other possible strategies. De-extinction is not as transformative a conservation technique as it initially appears. It is largely dependent, as a conservation activity, upon traditional conservation practices, such as captive breeding programs, species reintroductions, and habitat improvement and protection. In contrast, gene drives have the potential to significantly restructure how conservation problems are framed and approached. Gene drives are therefore a much more disruptive technology for conservation philosophy and practice.
110. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Sandra Baquedano Jer Ecocide or Environmental Self-Destruction?
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The anthropocentric destruction of nature can be viewed as a form of self-destruction, which affects individuals and also the human species. It entails active destruction of the natural surroundings that are vital for the preservation of the planet’s biodiversity. But should ecocide, or environmental self-destruction of the life of certain species, be considered an “interruption” to the life of such species, or it is part of their natural life course? Are ecocide and environmental destruction identical, or substantively different, phenomena? Prevention of the death of biotic species, and of the massive destruction of abiotic species, constitutes the ultimate challenge for both environmental and animal ethics. Modern mass extinction of species can be understood as a form of speciesism, and the prevention of such extinction is the most urgent challenge for any ethics centered on the recognition of the value, or rights, of nonhuman species.
111. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Ricardo Rozzi Taxonomic Chauvinism, No More!: Antidotes from Hume, Darwin, and Biocultural Ethics
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The culture of global society commonly associates the word animal with vertebrates. Paradoxically, most of animal diversity is composed of small organisms that remain invisible in the global culture and are underrepresented in philosophy, science, and education. Twenty-first century science has revealed that many invertebrates have consciousness and the capacity to feel pain. These discoveries urge animal ethicists to be more inclusive and to reevaluate the participation of invertebrates in the moral community. Science also has warned of the disappearance of small animal co-inhabitants that is occurring in the midst of the sixth mass extinction. This “invisible extinction” compels environmental philosophers to make visible invertebrates, whose existence is precious in itself and for the functioning of ecosystems on which biodiversity and human societies depend. With a biocultural approach that integrates the biophysical and cultural dimensions of biodiversity, I investigate the roots of taxonomic chauvinism associated with the under-representation and subordination of invertebrates in modern philosophy and science. The bad news is the confirmation of a marked vertebratism in animal imagery. The good news is that David Hume, Charles Darwin, and biocultural ethics provide conceptual foundations for cultivating an appreciation of the small co-inhabitants with whom we share our local habitats and the global biosphere.
112. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Patrick Taylor Smith Daniel Edward Callies: Climate Engineering: A Normative Perspective
113. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Charles Hayes Benjamin Hale: The Wild and the Wicked: On Nature and Human Nature
114. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
News and Notes
115. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Ricardo Rozzi Collaborative Inter-Continental Dialogues: From a Necrocene to a Biocene
116. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Luca Valera Depth, Ecology, and the Deep Ecology Movement: Arne Næss’s Proposal for the Future
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The aim of this paper is to focus on the idea of depth developed by Arne Næss, which is related both to his research methodology and some of its anthropological/cosmological implications. Far from being purely a psychological dimension (as argued by Warwick Fox), in Næss’s perspective, the subject of depth is a methodological and ontological issue that underpins and lays the framework for the deep ecology movement. We cannot interpret the question of “depth” without considering the “relational ontology” that he himself has developed in which the “ecological self” is viewed as a “relational union within the total field.” Based on this point of view, I propose that we are able to reinterpret the history of the deep ecology movement and its future, while rereading its politics, from the issue of depth.
117. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Catherine Larrère “A Life Worthy of Being Called Human”: The Actuality of Hans Jonas’ Maxim
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“Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life on Earth.” How can we understand Jonas’ “maxim”? Is it too anthropocentric to be of any interest for an environmental ethic? Is is too limited to survival to have a moral signification in a truly human ethic? One can argue first that it is not so much anti-Kantian than that it challenges the current prevailing “presentism” and obliges us to take into consideration not only future generations, but also the context in which one anticipates these future generations to be living. Therefore, we can distinguish two different interpretations of Jonas’ maxim: in a first stage, that of sustainable development, it was understood as taking into consideration not only the needs but also the rights of future generations; in a second stage, that of an Anthropocene and ecological transition, it means that making sense of humanity implies connecting human beings to the Earth and other living beings far from opposing them.
118. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Eric Pommier The Problem of Environmental Democracy: Responsibility and Deliberation
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The work of Hans Jonas’ has been largely overlooked by environmental philosophers. His Principle of Responsibility can help guide effective development of political institutions for environmental purposes. It is possible to use this principle to develop a deliberative and environmental conception of democracy. Some implications of the social contract framework of deliberative democracy show that Jonas’ conceptualization of responsibility leads to an environmental and deliberative conception of democracy by accommodating different citizens’ senses of the good in terms of an environmentally conceived global governance.
119. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Daniel Loewe Environmental Intergenerational Justice and the Nonidentity Problem: A Kantian Approach
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A moral Kantian approach can be developed to deal with the nonidentity problem with regard to environmental intergenerationl justice—at least in cases of depletion or risky policy. Being a duty-oriented moral theory, this approach allows both that people coming into existence in a nonidentity situation can be glad to exist while simultaneously taking into account depletion or risky policy, to which their existence is causally related, as possibly being morally wrong because of a violation of moral duties.
120. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Hernán Neira Climax: Biology and Ethics in Environmental Restoration
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Justifications for the environmental restoration of the Pumalín National Park, originally known as Pumalín Nature Sanctuary, in Chile can be analyzed from a philosophical and ethical point of view. The environmental stage to which the park should be restored is defined as a moral choice, rather than an ecological one, that is based on “climax” as an a priori value that supports and guides the main restoration actions carried out in the park. This climax is a pre-settling or pre-colonization condition. Defined philosophically, climax is both an ethical and political value. For these actions, the ecosystem’s health can be treated the same as that of a human’s health: each society defines the criteria and the acme of health, as well as the valid efforts to restore it.