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Displaying: 51-60 of 1728 documents

book reviews
51. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Yogi Hendlin, William Ophuls. Plato’s Revenge: Politics in the Age of Ecology
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52. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Lisa Kretz, Tovar Cerulli. The Mindful Carnivore: A Vegetarian’s Hunt for Sustenance
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53. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Todd LeVasseur, Matthew Hall. Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Bounty
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54. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Ted Benton, Costas Panayotakis. Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy
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55. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 4
News and Notes
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56. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 4
Paul Keeling, Wilderness, People, and the False Charge of Misanthropy
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It is sometimes argued that the idea of wilderness—land which humans willfully leave alone and let be—stems from and reinforces the vice of misanthropy insofar as it assumes that humans are a destructive and deterministic species. This misanthropy is allegedly reflected in three prevailing conceptions of wilderness: (1) wilderness as an escape from people, (2) humans as a taint on wilderness, and (3) humans as having no positive role in nature. These alleged links between wilderness and misanthropy are false. The first two conceptions are not goals of wilderness but are means to the goals of experiencing and protecting wild nature, which are not misanthropic goals. The third conception might be misanthropic, but is based on a category error; the U.S. Wilderness Act of 1964 is itself an example of a positive role for humans in nature. Contrary to the charge of misanthropy, the wilderness idea does not require the assumption that humans are inherently destructive. This issue is important because the oft-repeated (and too-often tolerated) false charge of misanthropy unfairly gives wilderness a bad name and illicitly undermines some of the support it might otherwise have, and is a common accusation of business-as-usual development interests that are hostile to conservation policies and wish to subvert them.
57. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 4
Paul D’Ambrosio, Rethinking Environmental Issues in a Daoist Context: Why Daoism Is and Is Not Environmentalism
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As the extent our impact on the environment becomes ever more clear, the search for ways to limit or even remedy some negative effects of our actions broadens. From science to religion, scholars in almost every field have been working hard to try to contribute to a healthier relationship between human beings and the natural world. In the humanities the issue is somewhat difficult. Because the topic is relatively new, there are few thinkers or traditions that deal with relevant environmental problems. One of the traditions that has been popularly associated with discussions of environmentally friendly philosophies is Daoism. In fact, the word Daoism, or dao jia (道家) in Chinese, takes dao (道) as central for its philosophy. In the daodejing (道德经), dao is given an ontological priority that makes it sound something like “nature” and would thereby provide an early Chinese model for environmentalism. The difficulty is, however, that dao can never be separated from anything in the world, including humans, which means that it cannot be understood as a nature that may provide ethical or moral guides for how one should behave. Strictly speaking, there is no classical Chinese equivalent to the nature of modern ecology. But this does not result in a dead end for environmentalist readings of Daoist texts. In fact, viewed from the perspective of using things, and how people interact with tools and consider profits, it is precisely because the Daoist have no conception of “nature” that they have so much to offer environmentalism.
discussion papers
58. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 4
Antoine C. Dussault, In Search of Ecocentric Sentiments: Insights from the CAD Model in Moral Psychology
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One aspect of J. Baird Callicott’s foundational project for ecocentrism consists in explaining how moral consideration for ecological wholes can be grounded in moral sentiments. Some critics of Callicott have objected that moral consideration for ecological wholes is impossible under a sentimentalist conception of ethics because, on both Hume and Smith’s views, sympathy is our main moral sentiment and it cannot be elicited by holistic entities. This conclusion is premature. The relevant question is not whether such moral consideration is compatible with the moral psychologies elaborated by Hume and Smith themselves, but, rather, whether it is possible given the moral psychology human beings actually possess. To answer this question, we must turn to empirical moral psychology and consider the possibility of a sentimentalist ecocentrism based on the community, autonomy, diversity (CAD) model, a very promising model of human moral psychology developed by psychologists Richard Shweder, Paul Rozin, and Jonathan Haidt. This model can be used to assess the possibility of grounding ecocentrism in human moral sentiments. In light of this assessment, ecocentrism should be understood as a new form of naturalistic ethics informed by the moral emotions of disgust, shame, awe, and wonder.
59. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 4
Michael Menser, The Bioregion and Social Difference: Learning from Iris Young’s Metropolitan Regionalism
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One of the most pressing challenges facing environmental philosophers is how to address social and economic inequality while pursuing ecological sustainability. Bioregionalism is a view that is theoretically and practically well-equipped to grapple with the ecological, sociocultural, and economic complexity of the ecological crisis. However, its virtue ethics-oriented communitarianism as well as its spatial understanding of the just human polity render it unable to adequately address the on-the-ground reality of environmental degradation and political injustice as they occur in urban regions. Indeed, legacies of environmental racism and present patterns of social exclusion and economic inequality give good reason to designate multibioregional urban areas as the principal polity. Iris Young’s conception of justice as the “being together of strangers” critically yet sympathetically helps bioregionalism address these problems and that of the proper scale of the polity. The New York City region is a case study.
60. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 4
Jan Cornelius Schmidt, Defending Hans Jonas’ Environmental Ethics: On the Relation between Philosophy of Nature and Ethics
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Hans Jonas’ anti-visionary conservation-oriented environmental philosophy—prominently articulated in his seminal book The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age (1979)—had a tremendous impact on public and philosophical debates throughout the 1980s and the 1990s. Jonas argues that the “environmental crisis” reveals an underlying fundamental “crisis” in the human-nature relation. The crisis challenges the metaphysical foundations of our Western culture—including the dominant way humans view and deal with nature. Environmental ethics, therefore, requires critical reflection on and revision of the underlying philosophy of nature: ethics and philosophy of nature, Jonas argues, are twin sisters. This approach provokes severe criticism: (1) the diagnosis objection, (2) the origin analysis objection, (3) the justification objection, and (4) the problem-solution objection. Most objections are not as sound as they claim to be—although Jonas’ argumentative justification is in fact a bit weak. However, a systematic critique of the objections of the critics from an analytic perspective shows that he developed a political and practical “philosophy of nature” in which anthropology, ethics, and politics are conceptualized as a converging domain as one of the core constituents of environmentals ethics for this century.