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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Thomas Heyd Nature, Culture, and Natural Heritage: Toward a Culture of Nature
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Nature and culture are usually treated as opposites. Nature, on this conception, is on the wane as a result of culture. A fresh analysis of the relation between these two terms in the light of the notion of “cultural landscapes” is needed. This account allows for nature to be understood as an important, distinctive category, even while granting the constitutive role of the culturally structured gaze. Culture and nature need not be conceived in opposition to each other, for it makes sense to speak of, and pursue, a culture of nature. These considerations have important consequences for natural heritage conservation.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Charles J. List The Virtues of Wild Leisure
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The land ethic of Aldo Leopold has increasingly received attention as an example of an environmental virtue ethic. However, an important remaining question is how to cultivate and transmit environmental virtues. The answer to this question can be found in the pursuit of wild leisure. The classical view of leisure primarily as articulated in Aristotle’s Politics provides a good starting point for an examination of wild leisure. Leopold thought wild leisure was important and associated it with his land ethic. Leopold’s view of wild leisure focused on the role of perception in ecological education and the habituation of virtue. The classical virtue of moderation when habituated by wild leisure becomes the central virtue required by an ecological conscience. Wild leisure educates just those intellectual and scientific virtues necessary for refined perception and prudence. These virtues provide connections between good citizenship and land citizenship.
discussion papers
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Charles Cockrell The Value of Microorganisms
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Environmental ethics has almost exclusively been focused on multicellular organisms. However, because microorganisms form the base of the world’s food chains, allowing for the existence of all higher organisms, the complexities of the moral considerability of microorganisms deserve attention. Despite the impossible task of protecting individual microorganisms—the paradigmatic example of the limitations to a Schweitzerian “reverence for life”—microorganisms can be considered to have intrinsic value on the basis of conation, along with their enormous instrumental value. This intrinsic value even manifests itself at the individual level, although in this case the ethic can only be regulative (an ethical principle). Biocentrism is the most appropriate ethical framework for microorganisms, and the most useful normative framework for implementing the preservation and conservation of microorganisms. This ethic has implications for how we deal with disease-causing microorganisms.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
David W. Kidner Fraud, Fantasy, and Fiction in Environmental Writing
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During the past several decades, a number of accounts of environmental and ethnic wisdom have appeared which have later been exposed as fraudulent. The widespread popularity of these accounts should be understood as symptomatic of valid feelings and awarenesses that are unable to find expression in the modern world, and are usually dissociated from mainstream decision-making processes. As the natural order continues to be degraded, forms such as fiction which currently have relatively low status will become more important as vehicles for feelings, ideas, and possibilities which can find no other refuge within a world increasingly dominated by technological and economic viewpoints.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Eric B. Horn On Callicott’s Second-Order Principles
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J. Baird Callicott has proposed two second-order principles which he believes can be used to settle conflicts between his land ethic and traditional human morality. The first of these proposes that ethical obligations arising from “more venerable and intimate” communities should take precedence over those arising from “more recently emerged and impersonal” communities, while the second proposes that “stronger” interests should take precedence over “weaker” ones. Callicott’s first second-order principle fails to specify unambiguously which communities’ obligations should take precedence because he has failed to provide a clear description of how we are to identify and compare communities. In order for his second second-order principle to be useful, a good deal more work needs to be done to spell out what is meant by describing certain interests as “stronger” than others, particularly with respect to holistic entities. While the project of fleshing out a description of the strengths of interests for holistic entities may present an interesting and fruitful challenge, the prospects for providing a description of community identification of the sort that Callicott requires are much dimmer.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
J. Robert Loftis The Aesthetics of Natural Environments
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Kai M. A. Chan The Death of Our Planet’s Species
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Robert Kirkman The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Alfred I. Tauber Thoreau’s Living Ethics: Walden and the Pursuit of Virtue
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