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news and notes
1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
NEWS AND NOTES (1)
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features
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Harley Cahen Against the Moral Considerability of Ecosystems
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Are ecosystems morally considerable-that is, do we owe it to them to protect their “interests”? Many environmental ethicists, impressed by the way that individual nonsentient organisms such as plants tenaciously pursue their own biological goals, have concluded that we should extend moral considerability far enough to include such organisms. There is a pitfall in the ecosystem-to-organism analogy, however. We must distinguish a system’s genuine goals from the incidental effects, or byproducts, of the behavior of that system’s parts. Goals seem capable of giving rise to interests; byproducts do not. It is hard to see how whole ecosystems can be genuinely goal-directed unless group selection occurs at the community level. Currently, mainstream ecological and evolutionary theory is individualistic. From such a theory it follows that the apparent goals of ecosystems are mere byproducts and, as such, cannot ground moral considerability.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Brent A. Singer An Extension of Rawls’ Theory of Justice to Environmental Ethics
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By combining and augmenting recent arguments that have appeared in the literature, I show how a modified Rawlsian theory of justice generates a strong environmental and animal rights ethic. These modifications include significant changes in the conditions of the contract situation vis-a-vis A Theory of Justice, but I argue that these modifications are in fact more consistent with Rawls’ basic assumptions about the functions of a veil of ignorance and a thin theory of the good.
news and notes
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
NEWS AND NOTES (2)
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discussion papers
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Charles Taliaferro The Environmental Ethics of the Ideal Observer
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The ideal observer theory provides a fruitful framework for doing environmental ethics. It is not homocentric, it can illuminate the relationship between religious and nonreligious ethics, and it has implications for normative environmental issues. I defend it against eritieism raised by Thomas Carson and Jonathan Harrison.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Don E. Marietta, Jr. Ethical Holism and Individuals
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Environmental holism has been accused of being totalitarian because it subsumes the interests and rights of individuals under the good of the whole biosphere, thus rejecting humanistic ethics. Whether this is true depends on the type of holism in question. Only an extreme form of holism leads to this totalitarian approach, and that type of holism should be rejected, not alone because it leads to unacceptable practices, but because it is too abstract and reductionistic to be an adequate basis for ethics.
book reviews
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
G. E. Varner Christopher Stone: Earth and Other Ethics
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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Donald Worster Michael P. Cohen: The Pathless Way: John Muir and American Wilderness
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Eduardo Gudynas Daniel Vidart: Filosofia ambiental
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Scott Lehmann Bryan G. Norton: Why Preserve Natural Variety?
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