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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
NEWS AND NOTES
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from the editor
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Should Environmentalism be Radical?
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features
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Bryan G. Norton Why I am Not a Nonanthropocentrist: Callicott and the Failure of Monistic Inherentism
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I contrast two roles for environmental philosophers—“applied philosophy” and “practical philosophy”—and show that the strategy of applied philosophy encourages an axiological and monistic approach to theory building. I argue that the mission of applied philosophy, and the monistic theory defended by J. Baird Callicott, in particular, tends to separate philosophers and their problems from real management issues because applied philosophers and moral monists insist that theoretical exploration occurs independent of, and prior to, applications in particular situations. This separation of theory and practice suggests that philosophers are likely to be effective in policy discussions only to the degree that they can offer unquestioned theories that adjudicate real problems. Callicott offers his monistic, ontological approach as universal guidance to environmental activists and decision makers, arguing that ecosystems and communities are moral subjects that can “own” their own inherent value. Callicott’s theory, however, faces a crucial, unanswered theoretical dilemma which illustrates the impossibility of the dual task Callicott has set for his theory—to provide a single, ontological unification of ethics under nonanthropocentric holism and to capture the fine nuances of ethical obligations as experienced in varied communities. I also show that monistic assumptions have led to an unfortunate interpretation ofAldo Leopold’s land ethic and that a pluralist and pragmatist direction is likely to provide a more efficacious and theoretically defensible direction for further study of environmental philosophy in a more practical mode.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Donald Scherer Evolution, Human Living, and the Practice of Ecological Restoration
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Critiques of ecological restoration have rested on the human/natural distinction. In opposition to the difficulties involved in that distinction, I provide a sketch of an evolutionary account of human existence. The instability of environments—beyond individual human control—conditions human life and sets the dynamic for human action. Human interdependence makes human monitoring of human interaction central. I interpret Leopold as concerned about the divergence between ecosystemic and economic value. In the face of reiterative prisoners’ dilemmas arising significantly from problems of scale, the moral imperative is the creation of practices that tolerate ecosystemic degradation minimally and those only in the face of threats to human existence. Against this background, I show that the value of ecological restoration is ambivalent.
news and notes
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
NEWS AND NOTES
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discussion papers
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Judith M. Green Retrieving the Human Place in Nature
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The present worldwide ecological crisis challenges both some fundamental Western cultural assumptions about human relationships to nature and the efficacy of democratic institutions in transforming these relationships appropriately and in a timely manner. I discuss what kind of ecophilosophy is most feasible and desirable in guiding rapid and effective response to the present crisis in the short term, as well as positive cultural transformation in the West toward sound natural and social ecology in the longer term. I argue that decontextualized liberal ecophilosophies and related deep ecologies are inadequate to these purposes and propose a Green transformative framework that “re-places” humans within nature, “re-positions” our understanding of ourselves in relation to the land, “re-pairs” intrinsic values in nature with human responsibilities, and “re-directs” the effective use of participatory democratic institutions in transforming public policy.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Nicholas Agar Valuing Species and Valuing Individuals
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My goal in this paper is to account for the value of species in terms of the value of individual organisms that make them up. Many authors have pointed to an apparent conflict between a species preservationist ethic and moral theories that place value on individuals. I argue for an account of the worth of individual organisms grounded in the representational goals of those organisms. I claim thatthis account leads to an acceptably extensive species preservationist ethic.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Frederick Ferré Value, Time, and Nature
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Notoriously, beauty is subject to time’s “tooth”; but—somehow—we sense also the imperviousness of achieved value to mere duration. This paradox is illustrated using a recent art event, and three principles analyzed from the case in point: (1) the exclusive intrinsic importance of subjective immediacy, (2) the necessity of intersubjective connections, and (3) the crucial place of instrumental value. Moving from art to metaphysics to nature, I conclude with discussions of habitat and of evolution. Only if a habitat’s instrumental value (for many centers of subjective immediacy besides human ones) is adequately respected can anthropocentric values be prevented from always “trumping” all others. I reconsider evolution in terms of many interconnected value-realizing subjects, presenting the proffered “kalogenic” perspective as a manifestation of the most fundamental process of the universe—one in which the pursuit, actualization, and defense of concrete beauty actually generates what we abstractly call “time.”
book reviews
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Richard A. Watson Which Way for the Ecology Movement?
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 17 > Issue: 4
Annie Booth Women, the Environment and Sustainable Development: Towards a Theoretical Synthesis
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