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41. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Susan Power Bratton The Original Desert Solitaire: Early Christian Monasticism and Wilderness
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Roderick Nash’s conc1usion in Wilderness and the American Mind that St. Francis “stood alone in a posture of humility and respect before the natural world” is not supported by thorough analysis of monastic literature. Rather St. Francis stands at the end of a thousand-year monastic tradition. Investigation of the “histories” and sayings of the desert fathers produces frequent references to the environment, particularly to wildlife. In stories about lions, wolves, antelopes, and other animals, the monks sometimes exercise spiritual powers over the animals, but frequently the relationship is reciprocal: the monks provide for the animals and the animals provide for the monks. This literature personifies wild animals and portrays them as possessing Christian virtues. The desert monk is portrayed as the “new Adam” living at peace with creation. Some of the literature is anti-urban, with the city treated as a place of sin, the desert a place of purification. The wildemess functions much as a monk’s cell, providing freedom from worldly concems and a solitary place for prayer and contemplation. The monks’ relationship to the desert is evidence of their spiritual progress.
42. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Peter Losin Thomas Tanner, ed.: Aldo Leopold: The Man and His Legacy, and J. Baird Callicott, ed., Companion to A Sand County Almanac
43. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
John Kultgen Alastair S. Gunn and P. Aarne Vesilind: Environmental Ethics for Engineers
44. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
The Shape of Things to Come
45. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Neil Evernden Yrjo Sepanmaa: The Beauty of the Environment
46. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
David Abram Merleau-Ponty and the Voice of the Earth
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Ecologists and environmental theorists have paid little attention to our direct, sensory experience of the enveloping world. In this paper I discuss the importance of such experience for ecological philosophy. Merleau-Ponty’s careful phenomenology of perceptual experience shows perception to be an inherently creative, participatory activity-a sort of conversation, carried on underneath our spoken discourse, between the living body and its world. His later work discloses the character of language itself as a medium born of the body’s participation with a world experienced as alive. That living world is none other than the Earth.
47. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Patrick D. Murphy Sex-Typing the Planet
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The ecology movement has recently attempted to reinvigorate the image of Earth in terms of Lovelock and Epton’s “Gaia hypothesis.” I analyze the shortcomings of using Gaia imagery in the works of Lovelock, deep ecologists, feminists, and ecological poets, and conclude that while the hypothesis serves to alter consciousness, naming it Gaia reinforces the oppressive hierarchical patterns of patriarchal gender stereotypes that it opposes. We are moving toward a new paradigm of nonpatriarchal pluralistic co-evolution, but if deep ecology is going to promote fully its development, it needs to recast or cast aside Gaia imagery.
48. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Christopher D. Stone Moral Pluralism and the Course of Environmental Ethics
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Environmental ethics has reached a certain level of maturity; further significant advances require reexamining its status within the larger realm of moral philosophy. It could aim to extend to nonhumans one of the familiar sets of principles subject to appropriate modifications; or it could seek to break away and put forward its own paradigm or paradigms. Selecting the proper course requires as the most immediate mission exploring the formal requirements of an ethical system. In general, are there constraints against bringing our moral relations with different sorts of things under different mIes of govemance? In particular, how much independence can an environmental ethic (or ethics) aim to have?
49. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Rafal Serafin Noosphere, Gaia, and the Science of the Biosphere
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Advances in analytical understanding of the biosphere’s biogeochemical cycles have spawned concepts of Gaia and noosphere. Earlier in this century, in concert with the Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the natural scientist Vladimir Vernadsky developed the notion of noosphere-an evolving collective human consciousness on Earth exerting an ever increasing intluence on biogeochemical processes. More recently, the chemist James Lovelock postulated the Earth to be a self-regulating system made up of biota and their environment with the capacity to maintain a planetary steady state favorable to life. This is the Gaia hypothesis. To many, Gaia and noosphere represent contradictory interpretations of humanity’s relation to planetary ecology. Noosphere emphasizes a free will and obligation to shape the destiny of humanity on Earth through technology and new kinds of social relations. In contrast, Gaia invokes mysterious mechanisms of planetary evolution that lie beyond human control and understanding. I argue that if brought together, noosphere and Gaia can provide a useful symbol for guiding human interventions in global ecology because the contradictions of a nature-centered view of Gaia and a human-centered view of noosphere are coming to be irrelevant with the emergence of an analytical science of the biosphere.
50. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
K. S. Shrader-Frechette Eugene C. Hargrove, ed.: Beyond Spaceship Earth
51. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
52. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
53. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
John B. Cobb, Jr. Tom Regan, ed.: Animal Sacrifices
54. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Thomas W. Simon Richard Levins and Richard Lewontin: The Dialectical Biologist
55. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
G. E. Varner Christopher Stone: Earth and Other Ethics
56. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Eric Katz Unfair to Foundations? A Reply to Weston
57. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Charles Taliaferro The Environmental Ethics of the Ideal Observer
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The ideal observer theory provides a fruitful framework for doing environmental ethics. It is not homocentric, it can illuminate the relationship between religious and nonreligious ethics, and it has implications for normative environmental issues. I defend it against eritieism raised by Thomas Carson and Jonathan Harrison.
58. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Scott Lehmann Bryan G. Norton: Why Preserve Natural Variety?
59. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Brent A. Singer An Extension of Rawls’ Theory of Justice to Environmental Ethics
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By combining and augmenting recent arguments that have appeared in the literature, I show how a modified Rawlsian theory of justice generates a strong environmental and animal rights ethic. These modifications include significant changes in the conditions of the contract situation vis-a-vis A Theory of Justice, but I argue that these modifications are in fact more consistent with Rawls’ basic assumptions about the functions of a veil of ignorance and a thin theory of the good.
60. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Harley Cahen Against the Moral Considerability of Ecosystems
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Are ecosystems morally considerable-that is, do we owe it to them to protect their “interests”? Many environmental ethicists, impressed by the way that individual nonsentient organisms such as plants tenaciously pursue their own biological goals, have concluded that we should extend moral considerability far enough to include such organisms. There is a pitfall in the ecosystem-to-organism analogy, however. We must distinguish a system’s genuine goals from the incidental effects, or byproducts, of the behavior of that system’s parts. Goals seem capable of giving rise to interests; byproducts do not. It is hard to see how whole ecosystems can be genuinely goal-directed unless group selection occurs at the community level. Currently, mainstream ecological and evolutionary theory is individualistic. From such a theory it follows that the apparent goals of ecosystems are mere byproducts and, as such, cannot ground moral considerability.