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Environmental Ethics

Volume 8, Issue 4, Winter 1986
Asian Traditions as a Conceptual Resource for Environmental Ethics

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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
Environmental Ethics and Asian and Comparative Philosophy
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3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
Eliot Deutsch East-West
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I argue for the possibility of a creative relationship between man and nature which will inform the basic decision makings that confront us in the concrete concems of environmental ethics today. This relationship, which I call “natural reverence,” is essentially an attitudinal one which recognizes the togethemess of man and nature in freedom. Contrasting Kant’s treatment of the sublime with certain ideas to be found in Indian philosophy-namely, the idea of a radical discontinuity, thought to obtain between “reality” and “nature” (māyā in Vedānta), and the idea of karman as involving modes of human making-I show the manner in which nature can become value laden and how we can work with nature in a manner analogous to that of an artist working with his/her medium in a kind of creative play.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
J. Baird Callicott The Metaphysical Implications of Ecology
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Although ecology is neither a universal nor foundational science, it has metaphysical implications because it profoundly alters traditional Western concepts of terrestrial nature and human being. I briefly sketch the received metaphysical foundations of the modem world view, set out a historical outline of an emerging ecological world view, and identify its principal metaphysical implications. Among these the most salient are a field ontology, the ontological subordination of matter to energy, internal relations, and systemic (as opposed to oceanic) holism. I treat moral psychology as a special case of the metaphysical implications of ecology. Ecology undermines the concept of a separable ego or social atom and thus renders obsolete any ethics which involves the concepts of “self” and “other” as primitive terms.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
Roger T. Ames Taoism and the Nature of Nature
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The problems of environmental ethics are so basic that the exploration of an alternative metaphysics or attendant ethical theory is not a sufficiently radical solution. In fact, the assumptions entailed in adefinition of systematic philosophy that gives us a tradition of metaphysics might themselves be the source of the current crisis. We might need to revision the responsibilities of the philosopher and think in terms of the artist rather than the “scientific of first principles.” Taoism proceeds from art rather than science, and produces an ars contextualis: generalizations drawn from human experience in the most basic processes of making aperson, making a community and making a world. This idea of an “aesthetic cosmology” is one basis for redefining the nature of the relatedness that obtains between particular and world-between tao and te.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
Chung-ying Cheng On the Environmental Ethics of the Tao and the Ch’i
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How the Tao applies to the ecological understanding of the human environment for the purpose of human well-being as well as for the hannony of nature is an interesting and crucial issue for both environmentalists and philosophers of the Tao. I formulate five basic axioms for an environmental ethic of the Tao: (1) the axiom of total interpenetration; (2) the axiom of self-transformation; (3) the axiom of creative spontaneity; (4) the axiom of a will not to will; and (5) the axiom of non-attaching attachment. I show that each axiom generates important consequences for environmental ethics and that together they provide a necessary foundation for environmental ethics.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
David J. Kalupahana Man and Nature: Toward a Middle Path of Survival
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I highlight the philosophical standpoints of two traditions, one from the East and the other from the West, that seem to avoid any form of reductionism resulting from the search for ultimate objectivity in human knowledge and understanding. I compare the pragmatic teachings of the Buddha and William James in order to show how both accommodate the human perspective as an inalienable part of the philosophical enterprise, and, further, how these perspectives contribute to their humanistic approaches and to the valuing of the environment in a way that is essential for human survival.
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 8 > Issue: 4
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