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Displaying: 121-140 of 2010 documents

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121. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Carolyn Merchant Environmental Ethics and Political Conflict: A View from California
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l examine three approaches to environmental ethics and illustrate them with examples from California. An egocentric ethic is grounded in the self and based on the assumption that what is good for the individual is good for society. Historically associated with laissez faire capitalism and a religious ethic of human dominion over nature, this approach is exemplified by the extraction of natural resources from the commons by private interests. A homocentric ethic is grounded in society and is based on the assumption that policies should reflect the greatest good for the greatest number of people and that, as stewards of the natural world, humans should conserve and protect nature for human benefit. Historically associated with govemment regulation of the private sector, a homocentric approach can be illustrated by federal, state, and local environmental agencies charged with protecting the welfare of the general public. An ecocentric ethic is grounded in the cosmos, or whole environment, and isbased on the assignment of intrinsic value to nonhuman nature. Exemplified by ecologically based sciences and process-oriented philosophies, an ecocentric approach often underlies the political positions of environmentalists. This threefold taxonomy may be useful in identifying underlying ethical assumptions in cases where ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest develop among entrepreneurs, govemment agencies, and environmentalists.
122. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
James E. Ketelaar Conrad Totman: The Green Archipelago
123. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Thomas H. Birch The Incarceration of Wildness: Wilderness Areas as Prisons
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Even with the very best intentions , Western culture’s approach to wilderness and wildness, the otherness of nature, tends to be one of imperialistic domination and appropriation. Nevertheless, in spite of Western culture’s attempt to gain total control over nature by imprisoning wildness in wilderness areas, which are meant to be merely controlled “simulations” of wildness, a real wildness, a real otherness, can still be found in wilderness reserves . This wildness can serve as the literal ground for the subversion of the imperium, and consequently as the basis for the practical establishment of and residence in what WendeII Berry has called the “landscape of harmony.” Here all land becomes wild sacred space that humans consciously come to reinhabit. In this subversive potential lies the most fundamental justification for the legal establishment of wilderness reserves.
124. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
125. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Susan Power Bratton Thomas Berry: The Dream of the Earth
126. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Theodore R. Vitali Sport Hunting: Moral or Immoral?
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Hunting for sport or pleasure is ethical because (1) it does not violate any animal’s moral rights, (2) it has as its primary object the exercise of human skills, which is a sufficient good to compensate for the evil that results from it, namely, the death of the animal, and (3) it contributes to the ecological system by directly participating in the balancing process of life and death upon which the ecosystem thrives, thus indirectly benefiting the human community. As such, hunting is not only a natural good, but also a moral good.
127. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Annie L. Booth, Harvey L. Jacobs Ties that Bind: Native American Beliefs as a Foundation for Environmental Consciousness
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In this article we examine the specific contributions Native American thought can make to the ongoing search for a Western ecological consciousness. We begin with a review of the influence of Native American beliefs on the different branches of the modem environmental movement and some initial comparisons of Western and Native American ways of seeing. We then review Native American thought on the natural world, highlighting beliefs in the need for reciprocity and balance, the world as a living being, and relationships with animals. We conclude that Native American ideas are important, can prove inspirational in the search for a modem environmental consciousness, and affirm the arguments of both deep ecologists and ecofeminists.
128. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Janna Thompson A Refutation of Environmental Ethics
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An environmental ethic holds that some entities in nature or in natural states of affairs are intrinsically valuable. I argue that proposals for an environmental ethic either fail to satisfy requirements which any ethical system must satisty to be an ethic or they fail to give us reason to suppose that the values they promote are intrinsic values. If my arguments are correct, then environmental ethics is not properly ethics at all.
129. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Arne Naess Man Apart and Deep Ecology: A Reply to Reed
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Peter Reed has defended the basis for an environmental ethic based upon feelings of awe for nature together with an existentialist absolute gulf between humans and nature. In so doing, he has claimed that there are serious difficulties with Ecosophy T and the terms, Self-realization and identification with nature. I distinguish between discussions of ultimate norms and the penultimate deep ecology platform. I also clarify and defend a technical use of identification and attempt to show that awe and identification may be compatible concepts.
130. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Karen J. Warren The Power and the Promise of Ecological Feminism
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Ecological feminism is the position that there are important connections-historical, symbolic, theoretical-between the domination of women and the domination of nonhuman nature. I argue that because the conceptual connections between the dual dominations of women and nature are located in an oppressive patriarchal conceptual framework characterized by a logic of domination, (1) the logic of traditional feminism requires the expansion of feminism to include ecological feminism and (2) ecological feminism provides a framework for developing a distinctively feminist environmental ethic. I conclude that any feminist theory and any environmental ethic which fails to take seriously the interconnected dominations of women and nature is simply inadequate.
131. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
J. Baird Callicott The Case against Moral Pluralism
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Despite Christopher Stone’s recent argument on behalf of moral pluralism, the principal architects of environmental ethics remain committed to moral monism. Moral pluralism fails to specify what to do when two or more of its theories indicate inconsistent practical imperatives. More deeply, ethical theories are embedded in moral philosophies and moral pluralism requires us to shift between mutually inconsistent metaphysics of morals, most of which are no Ionger tenable in light of postmodern science. A univocal moral philosophy-traceable to David Hume’s and Adam Smith’s theory of moral sentiments, grounded in evolutionary biology by Charles Darwin, and latterly extended to the environment by Aldo Leopold-provides a unified, scientifically supported world view and portrait of human nature in whichmultiple, lexically ordered ethics are generated by multiple human, “mixed,” and “biotic” community memberships.
132. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
133. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Bob Pepperman Taylor John Dewey and Environmental Thought
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In response to Chaloupka’s discussion of Dewey’s “social aesthetics,” I argue, first, that Chaloupka has failed to fully appreciate the democratic, political foundation of Dewey’s aesthetic sensibility and, second, that his description of Dewey’s naturalism is ambiguous and misleading. I conclude that Dewey does have things to say to environmental thinkers, but that his views regarding environmental issues are much less unique than Chaloupka suggests. His work stands more as a democratic challenge to environmentalists than as a guide for their thought.
134. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Donald Alexander Bioregionalism: Science or Sensibility?
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The current interest in bioregionalism, stimulated in part by Kirkpatrick Sale’s Dwellers in the Land, shows that people are looking for a form of political praxis which addresses the importance of region. In this paper, I argue that much of the bioregional literature written to date mystifies the concept of region, discounting the role of subjectivity and culture in shaping regional boundaries and veers toward asimplistic view of “nature knows best.” Bioregionalism can be rehabilitated, provided we treat it not as a “revealed wisdom” for the reconstruction of human society, but as a sensibility and environmental ethic that can infuse our work even as we make use of the functional regionalisms that increasingly shape people’s consciousness. I conclude by citing Lewis Mumford’s concept of a region as capturing the dialectical interplay of natural and cultural elements.
135. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
136. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
David M. Johns The Relevance of Deep Ecology to the Third World: Some Preliminary Comments
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Although Ramachandra Guha has demonstrated the importance of cross-cultural dialogue on environmental issues and has much to tell us about the problems of wildemess preservation in the Third World, I argue that Guha is partly wrong in claiming that deep ecology equates environmental protection with wilderness protection and simply wrong in calling wilderness protection untenable or incorrect as aglobal strategy for environmental protection. Moreover, I argue that the deep ecology distinction between anthropocentrism and biocentrism is useful in dealing with the two major problems which Guha identifies as undermining the health of the planetoverconsumption and militarism. Although it is true that preservation of wildemess will not be successful unless human social dynamics are taken into consideration, nevertheless, a biocentrism which integrates critical social theory can provide the basis for an ethic that undercuts the environmental degradation from overconsumption and militarism more effectively than a human-centered system.
137. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
John S. Dryzek Green Reason: Communicative Ethics for the Biosphere
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Exclusively instrumental notions of rationality not only reinforce attitudes conducive to the destruction of the natural world, but also undermine attempts to construct environmental ethics that involve more harmonious relationships between humans and nature. Deep ecologists and other ecological critics of instrumental rationality generally prefer some kind of spiritual orientation to nature. In this paper I argue against both instrumental rationalists and ecological spiritualists in favor of a communicative rationality which encompasses the natural world. I draw upon both critical theory and recent scientific intimations of agency in nature.
138. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Thomas W. Simon Varieties of Ecological Dialectics
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A hierarchical ordering of approaches afflicts environmental thinking. An ethics of individualism unjustly overrides social/political philosophy in environmental debates. Dialectics helps correct this imbalance. In dialectical fashion, a synthesis emerges between conflicting approaches to dialectics and to nature from: Marxism (Levins and Lewontin), anarchism (Bookchin), and Native Americanism (Black Elk). Conflicting (according to Marxists) and cooperative (according to anarchists) forces both operate in nature. Ethics (anarchist), political theory (Marxist), and spirituality (Native American) constitute the interconnected interpretative domains of a dialectically informed ecophilosophy. In a world painted too often in blacks and whites, ecological dialectics colors the picture a more realistic gray.
139. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
140. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 3
Alan Wittbecker Metaphysical Implications from Physics and Ecology
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I contrast metaphysical implications from physics and ecology and compare them through two concepts, the field, primary in physics and borrowed by ecology, and wholeness, postulated in ecology and borrowed by physics. I argue that several implications from physics are unacceptably reductive or erroneous and identify an old and a new ecology. Metaphysical implications from the old ecology are quite different from the new ecology, as weIl as from quantum or Newtonian physics.