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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
News and Notes
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features
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
W. S. K. Cameron Tapping Habermas’s Discourse Theory for Environmental Ethics
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Although other quasi-Kantian theories have been adapted, Jürgen Habermas’s discourse theory has been largely ignored in discussions of environmental ethics. Indeed on some versions of what an environmental philosophy must entail, Habermas’s anthropocentric approach must be disqualified from the start. Yet, there are some environmentally friendly implications of his discourse theory. They may not give us everything we would wish, but in the contemporary political context we must treasure any moral theory that can draw on the still-extensive theoretical and political resources of liberalism.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Cecilia Wee Mencius and the Natural Environment
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Environmental ethicists who look toward East Asian philosophies in their quest for a fruitful way of conceiving the relationship of humans to nature often turn to Taoism and Buddhism for inspiration. They rarely turn to Confucianism. Moreover, among those who do look to Confucianism for inspiration, almost no attention is given to the early Confucians, most likely because they are seen as embracing a humanist perspective—that is, they are concerned with how humans should relate to other humans and with the flourishing of human societies. An initial examination of an early Confucian, Mencius, who did consider his attitude toward nature, suggests that he viewed the natural world only as an instrument to promote human welfare. However, this account is not entirely fair to him, for an expansion of Mencius’ fundamental tenets can lead to an interesting account of the relation of humans and nature—one that balances human concerns with respect for nature. Mencius would very likely have endorsed this expansion.
discussion papers
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Aaron Simmons Do Animals Have an Interest in Continued Life?: In Defense of a Desire-Based Approach
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Do we do anything wrong to animals simply by ending their lives if it causes them no pain or suffering? According to some, we can do no wrong to animals by killing them because animals do not have an interest in continued life. An attempt to ground an interest in continued life in animals’ desires faces the challenge that animals are supposedly incapable of desiring to live or of having the kinds of long-range desires which could be thwarted by death. Some philosophers argue that death harms animals not because it thwarts their desires, but rather because it forecloses their future opportunities for satisfaction. However, this argument is problematic because (1) it’s unclear that animals’ future opportunities belong to the same continuing selves and (2) it’s unclear why we should think that animals’ future opportunities have value for them. A more promising argument holds that many animals have an interest in continued life insofar as they possess certain enjoyments in life, where animals’ enjoyments are best understood not merely as fleeting experiences but rather as dispositional desires which animals continue to possess over time.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Tim B. Rogers Nature of the Third Kind: Toward an Explicitly Relational Constructionism
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One aspect of social constructionist thought, which seldom receives the kind of explicit attention it warrants, has considerable potential: namely, the observation that our limited knowings of the world are achieved in numerous, yet deeply particularized, relational engagements in and with it. Foregrounding and elaborating such relational engagements provides an alternate way of developing a typology of constructionist thought. By emphasizing relationality as inherent in both social constructionism and many environmental and deep ecological positions, a potentially useful and powerful way of bringing the so-called warring factions to the treaty table emerges. A tripartite scheme of “natures,” focusing on relationality with the natural world, can provide a framework for dissolving some of the disputes in the literature, such as deep ecology’s current discomfort with constructionist thought.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
David Graham Henderson The Possibility of Managing for Wilderness
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Wilderness is often understood as land untouched by people. On this reading, wilderness management seems to be a simple contradiction, but it is in fact a thriving and functional practice. Wilderness is not simply an absence of human influence, but the presence of something else. Wilderness is land characterized by the flourishing of natural purpose. When this is understood, wilderness management becomes intelligible and several recent criticisms of wilderness preservation are defused.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
David K. Goodin Living with Ambiguity: Religious Naturalism and the Menace of Evil
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Frank W. Derringh Nature and Landscape: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Tom Spector Environmental Dilemmas: Ethical Decision Making
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Aaron Lercher The Human Right to a Green Future: Environmental Rights and Intergenerational Justice
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Dana Anderson Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility
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referees
12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Referees 2009
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index
13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 31 > Issue: 4
Index to Volume 31
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