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41. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Amy L. Goff-Yates Karen Warren and the Logic of Domination: A Defense
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Karen Warren claims that there is a “logic of domination” at work in the oppressive conceptual frameworks informing both sexism and naturism. Although her account of the principle of domination as a connection between oppressions has been an influential one in ecofeminist theory, it has been challenged by recent criticism. Both Karen Green and John Andrews maintain that the principle of domination,as Warren articulates it, is ambiguous. The principle, according to Green, admits of two possible readings, each of which she finds flawed. Similarly, Andrews claims that the principle is fundamentally inadequate because it cannot distinguish cases of oppressive domination from cases of nonoppressive domination. In this paper, I elucidate Warren’s views and defend her against these and other criticisms put forward by Green and Andrews. I show that Warren’s account of “the logic of domination” successfully illuminates important conceptual features of oppression.
42. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Rick O’Neil Animal Liberation versus Environmentalism
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Animal liberationism and environmentalism generally are considered incompatible positions. But, properly conceived, they simply provide answers to different questions, concerning moral standing and intrinsic value, respectively. The two views together constitute an environmental ethic that combines environmental justice and environmental care. I show that this approach is not only consistent but defensible.
43. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Vinay Lal Gandhi and the Ecological Vision of Life
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Although recognized as one of the principal sources of inspiration for the Indian environmental movement, Gandhi would have been profoundly uneasy with many of the most radical strands of ecology in the West, such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and even deep ecology. He was in every respect an ecological thinker, indeed an ecological being: the brevity of his enormous writings, his everyday bodily practices, his observance of silence, his abhorrence of waste, and his cultivation of the small as much as the big all equally point to an extraordinarily expansive notion of ecological awareness.
44. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Roger J. H. King Environmental Ethics and the Built Environment
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I defend the view that the design of the built environment should be a proper part of environmental ethics. An environmentally responsible culture should be one in which citizens take responsibility for the domesticated environments in which they live, as well as for their effects on wild nature. How we build our world reveals both the possibilities in nature and our own stance toward the world. Our constructions and contrivances also objectively constrain the possibilities for the development of a human way of life integrated with wild nature. An environmentally responsible culture should require a built world that reflects and projects care and respect toward nature.
45. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Nina Witoszek, Martin Lee Mueller The Ecological Ethics of Nordic Children’s Tales: From Pippi Longstocking to Greta Thunberg
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For decades now, environmental philosophers from Arne Næss to Freya Mathews have dreamt of environmental ethics that “make things happen.” We contend such ethics can be found in Nordic children’s tales—those scriptures of moral guidance, and influential propellers of environmental action. In this essay we discuss the moral-imaginative worlds of fictitious in Nordic children’s tales, choosing some of the most canonical stories of the Nordics as our focal point. We argue the complex and often inconsistent philosophical mediations between human and more-than-human worlds as imagined by Astrid Lindgren, Selma Lagerlöf, Thorbjørn Egner, or Tove Jansson are as viable philosophical works as other, more systematic studies in environmental ethics. Further, we argue that places, or indeed larger geographical regions, animate the moral imagination of the characters who live there, suggesting there is a reciprocal and mutually enhancing relationship between dwelling, thinking, and acting, between being animated and becoming animateur. Indeed, we may speak of this animated and animating, cultural-ecological topos as part of a genuine Nordic Ecosphere. Coruscating in this ecosphere are the sparkles of ‘literary ecological ethics,’ which influence human actions, not as much through analysis, documentation, or argument as through world-making stories, images, and models of environmental heroines.
46. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Dan Shahar Harm, Responsibility, and the Far-off Impacts of Climate Change
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Climate change is already a major global threat, but many of its worst impacts are still decades away. Many people who will eventually be affected by it still have opportunities to mitigate harm. When considering the avoidable burdens of climate change, it seems plausible victims will often share some responsibility for putting themselves into (or failing to get out of) harm’s way. This fact should be incorporated into our thinking about the ethical significance of climate-induced harms, particularly to emphasize the importance of differential abilities to get and stay out of harm’s way. Currently, many people face serious obstacles to reducing their vulnerability to climate change, such as poverty, lack of education, and political or legal obstacles to mobility. Climate policy discussions should do more to emphasize the alleviation of these sources of difficulties, thereby empowering people to choose what risks they will bear in a warming world.
47. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Benjamin Howe The Personal Responsibility to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
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Many theorists who argue that individuals have a personal responsibility to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs) tie the amount of GHGs that an individual is obligated to reduce to the amount that an individual releases, or what is often called a carbon footprint. The first section of this article argues that this approach produces standards that are too burdensome in some contexts. Section two argues that this approach produces standards of responsibility that are too lenient in other contexts and sketches an alternative account of personal responsibility that treats it as an obligation to take certain kinds of opportunities to reduce GHGs, regardless of how little or much gas an individual releases through her own actions. Section three argues that this alternative conception of personal responsibility is well positioned to rebut the Argument from Inconsequentialism, widely considered the most significant challenge to the assumption that individuals are capable of bearing a responsibility to reduce GHGs.
48. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Christopher Preston, Trine Antonsen Integrity and Agency: Negotiating New Forms of Human-Nature Relations in Biotechnology
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New techniques for modifying the genomes of agricultural organisms create difficult ethical challenges. We provide a novel framework to replace worn-out ethical lenses relying on ‘naturalness’ and ‘crossing species lines.’ Thinking of agricultural intervention as a ‘negotiation’ of ‘integrity’ and ‘agency’ provides a flexible framework for considering techniques such as genome editing with CRISPR/Cas systems. We lay out the framework by highlighting some existing uses of integrity in environmental ethics. We also provide an example of our lens at work by looking at the creation of ‘cisgenic’ (as opposed to ‘transgenic’) potatoes to resist late potato blight. We conclude by highlighting three distinct advantages offered by the integrity framework. These include a more fitting way to look at the practice of scientific researchers, a more inclusive way to consider ethics around agriculture, and a more flexible way to provide the ethical grounds for regulation in different cultural contexts.
49. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Corsa John Cage, Henry David Thoreau, Wild Nature, Humility, and Music
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John Cage and Henry David Thoreau draw attention to the indeterminacy of wild nature and imply humans cannot entirely control the natural world. This paper argues Cage and Thoreau each encourages his audience to recognize their own human limitations in relation to wildness, and thus each helps his audience to develop greater humility before nature. By reflecting on how Thoreau’s theory relates to Cage’s music, we can recognize how Cage’s music contributes to audiences’ environmental moral education. We can appreciate the role of music in helping audiences to develop values conducive to environmentally sustainable practices.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. 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.
53. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Eric Pommier, Luca Valera Introduction to this Special Issue
54. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 3
Ricardo Rozzi, Alexandria Poole, Francisca Massardo Environmental Philosophies' Inter-Continental Dialogues
55. 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.
56. 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.
57. 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.
58. 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.
59. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 4
Ricardo Rozzi Collaborative Inter-Continental Dialogues: From a Necrocene to a Biocene
60. 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.