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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
NEWS AND NOTES
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Lars Ursin, The Ethics of the Meat Paradox
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The meat paradox—to like eating meat, but dislike killing and harming animals—confronts omnivores with a powerful contradiction between eating and caring for animals. The paradox, however, trades on a conflation of the illegitimacy of harming and killing animals. While harming animals is morally wrong, killing animals can be legitimate if done with minimal suffering and respect for the moral status of the animal. This moral status demands the ac­knowledgement of a certain justification for killing animals that makes modesty a virtue of the omnivore. The psychological problem with regard to killing animals can persist even if the moral tension is weakened, but only to a certain degree, since emotions and principles are interdependent in moral reasoning. Virtuous meat consumption demands a willingness to face the conflicting feelings involved in killing animals and to tolerate the resulting tension.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Chin-Fa Cheng, Environmental Ontology in Deep Ecology and Mahayana Buddhism
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Environmental ontology, as formulated by Arne Naess, includes both an “external side,” Ecosophy T and his gestalt framework, and an “internal side” to his project, the “peaceful mind” that accompanies an external transformation of living within a relational community of life. The roots of Ecosophy T are in Spinoza. It may be possible to remedy the shortcomings of Naess’ view by extending his view to connect with key ideas in Mahayana Buddhism, show­ing that human nature, the process of realization, and gestalt thinking all cooperate together.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Erik Persson, Option Value, Substitutable Species, and Ecosystem Services
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The concept of ecosystem services is a way of visualizing the instrumental value that nature has for human beings. Most ecosystem services can be performed by more than one species. This fact is sometimes used as an argument against the preservation of species. However, even though substitutability does detract from the instrumental value of a species, it also adds option value to it. The option value cannot make a substitutable species as instrumentally valuable as a non-substitutable species, but in many cases, it can add enough value to make the species more valuable than the projects that threaten its existence.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Yogi Hale Hendlin, Konrad Ott, Habermas on Nature: A Postnormal Reading between Moral Intuitions and Theoretical Restrictiveness
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Environmental ethicists typically consider Jürgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action to exclude moral consideration for nonhuman animals. Habermas's early work indeed limits relationships with nature to instrumental ones. Yet, interspersed throughout Habermas's writings are clear indications that nonhuman life deserves moral consideration, and that humans can enter into communicative relationships with nonhumans, however asymmetrical. Habermas’s anthropocentric theoretical foundations can achieve a revised, reflective equilibrium congruent with his persistent intuitions that nonhumans also possess powers of communication (but not discourse) that would grant them moral consideration, perhaps allowing us to enter into non-linguistic interspecies communicative activity. Habermasians can incorporate non-instrumental relationships with nature into discourse ethics’ set of applications without ignoring the special role of language in communication. Rather than holding that the differencia specifica between humans and nonhumans exists in communication, it makes more sense instead to displace this distinction between communicative action as a general category and the special case of discourse. Doing so permits intuitions of nonhuman moral considerability and communicative possibility without altering the discursive core of Habermas’s theory.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Thomas Heyd, Bertrand Guillaume, The Natural Contract in the Anthropocene
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In view of humanity’s vast and accelerating environmental impacts on the planet in its more recent past it has been proposed to think of this period as a new geologic epoch called “the Anthropocene.” While some suppose that our present situation justifies large-scale, corrective interventions, Michel Serres has proposed “a contract with nature,” which, to the contrary, calls for a reduction in our interventions on the planet. Although there are difficulties in engaging in a contract with something lacking autonomous agency, rationality, and sentience, the idea of a natural contract does make sense. It offers a richly suggestive reconception of socio-political relationships between human society and the natural world, and has enough precedents to serve as a source of inspiration and guidance for the urgently needed transformation of our approach to the natural environment.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Roger S. Gottlieb, Anne Frank’s Tree: Nature’s Confrontation with Technology, Domination, and the Holocaust
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Lauren Hartzell-Nichols, Philosophy and the Precautionary Principle: Science, Evidence, and Environmental Policy
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Ned Hettinger, The Sublime in Modern Philosophy: Aesthetics, Ethics, and Nature
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Eric Katz, Naturalness: Is the “Natural” Preferable to the “Artificial”?
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