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news and notes
1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
NEWS AND NOTES
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features
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Ned Hettinger, Bill Throop Refocusing Ecocentrism
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Traditional ecocentric ethics relies on an ecology that emphasizes the stability and integrity of ecosystems. Numerous ecologists now focus on natural systems that are less clearly characterized by these properties. We use the elimination and restoration of wolves in Yellowstone to illustrate troubles for traditional ecocentric ethics caused by ecological models emphasizing instability in natural systems. We identify several other problems for a stability-integrity based ecocentrism as well. We show how an ecocentric ethic can avoid these difficulties by emphasizing the value of the wildness of natural systems and we defend wildness value from a rising tide of criticisms.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Christopher B. Barrett, Ray Grizzle A Holistic Approach to Sustainability Based on Pluralism Stewardship
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In this paper, we advance a holistic ecological approach based on a three-compartment model. This approach favors policy initiatives that lie at the intersection of the three major areas of concern common to most environmental controversies: environmental protection, provision of basic human needs, and advancing economic welfare. In support of this approach, we propose a “pluralistic stewardship”integrating core elements of anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism. After presenting the basics of our model, we then explain why it is important to identify and promote a holistic ecological approach to sustainability. Here we employ the economic concept of path dependence, emphasizing that there exist multiple paths society can follow in environmental ethics and policy but once one has been chosen, implicitly or explicitly, there may be little opportunity to reverse such choices.
discussion papers
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Michaelle L. Browers Jefferson’s Land Ethic: Environmental Ideas in Notes on the State of Virginia
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I articulate what I refer to as Jefferson’s “land ethic,” drawing primarily from his Notes on the State of Virginia. In the first section, I discuss Jefferson’s conception of the intimate relationship between the natural and political constitution of America and his vindication of both. In the second section, I examine the centrality of the environment in Jefferson’s political vision for America: a landbasedrepublicanism. In the third section, I elaborate Jefferson’s view as to the proper relationship between human beings and their environment by focusing on the form of nature to which he believes human beings most intimately relate: one’s estate. Jefferson’s understanding of the land draws from John Locke’s theory of property, but whereas Locke’s concept of property is closely associated with the economic values that facilitate human destruction of the environment, Jefferson’s environmentalism focuses on the other side of the relation: the ways in which a particular nature—a climate, one’s landholding, the New World in general–can influence human nature and politics.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Bruce Morito Examining Ecosystem Integrity
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Attempts to come to grip with what appears to be the autonomy of nature have developed into several schools of thought. Among the most influential of these schools is the ecosystem integrity approach to environmental ethics, management and policy. The philosophical arm of the approach has been spearheaded by Laura Westra and her work in An Environmental Proposal for Ethics. The emphasis that this school places on pristine wilderness to model ecosystem integrity and the arguments Westra devises to justify the application of what she calls the “principle of integrity,” although clear in its goal and object of inquiry, could very well retrench dualistic thinking of the sort that environmental thinkers have been trying to undermine. More importantly, I argue that Westra misses an important implication for the way in which ecosystem integrity could be used to help develop an ethic not so confined by problems of justification in attaching values to facts and descriptions to prescriptions.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Mathew Humphrey Deep Ecology and the Irrelevance of Morality: A Response
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In his article “Deep Ecology and the Irrelevance of Morality,” Eric H. Reitan contends that, contrary to the disavowals of Fox and Naess, the “ecosophy T” concept of “Self-realization” constitutes a precondition of morality according to a “robust” Kantian moral framework. I suggest that there is a significant problem involved in rendering Self-realization compatible with a Kantian moral framework. This problem of ontological priority demonstrates that Naess and Fox are in fact correct in their assertion that Self-realization is a nonmoral phenomenon.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Ralph M. Perhac, Jr. Environmental Justice: The Issue of Disproportionality
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It is widely held that environmental risks which are distributed unequally along racial or socioeconomic lines are necessarily distributed unjustly. While disproportionality may result from the perpetration of procedural injustices—what might be termed environmental racism, the question I am concerned with is whether disproportionality, in and of itself, constitutes injustice. I examine this question from the perspective of three prominent theories of justice that largely capture the range of our intuitions about fairness and justice—utilitarianism, natural rights theory, and (Rawlsian) contractarianism. While each of these theories provides clear grounds for objecting to the imposition of risk on individuals without their consent, none provides grounds for thinking that eliminating disproportionalities along racial or socioeconomic lines, in and of itself, is called for as a matter of justice. As a result, I suggest that the concern of environmental justice should lie with identifying (and protecting) those at greatest risk, rather than identifying correlations between average risk levels and morally arbitrary characteristics possessed by individuals, such as race or socioeconomic status.
book reviews
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Bart Gruzalski Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Randall E. Auxier Ecological Resistance Movements: The Global Emergence of Radical and Popular Environmentalism
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Laura Westra Diritto per la Natura
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comment
11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Philip Cafaro Personal Narratives and Environmental Ethics
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12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Dean W. Boening Biotechnology and Environmental Pollution
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