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Displaying: 41-50 of 1799 documents


discussion papers
41. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Piers H. G. Stephens, On the Nature of “Nature”: The Real Meanings and Significance of John Stuart Mill’s Misunderstood Essay
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John Stuart Mill is known as the first canonical Western philosopher to espouse a stationary state of economic growth, and as such he can be seen as an important totemic figure for reformist strategies in environmental ethics. However, his reputation among environmental thinkers has been rendered more ambiguous in recent years by increased attention to his essay “Nature.” The “Nature” essay has been much used lately by critics to oppose claims (1) that independent nature may properly be seen as important in any way as an ethical guide or inspiration, and (2) that Mill’s philosophy may feasibly be viewed as pro-environmentalist. This use of Mill’s essay is mistaken, and has undermined appreciation of the potential significance of Mill’s thought for environmental philosophy. When examining the most detailed of the critical treatments of the essay, reading “Nature” as an anti-environmentalist text badly distorts the essay’s meaning by ripping it from the context of Mill’s intentions as well as from the very specific and significant historical circumstances and biographical conditions of its production. Attending properly to these factors shows that the essay is unrepresentative of Mill’s general position and rather philosophically weaker than its reputation. Reading the text as a definitive statement of Mill’s supposed anti-naturalism is thus mistaken and fails to recognize different modes and significances in “following nature,” some of which Mill supported. The “Nature” essay is an aberrant outlier in the Mill canon, and one which should no longer be allowed to undermine Mill’s strong and important environmentalist credentials.
book reviews
42. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Matthew Calarco, David Nibert. Animal Oppression and Human Violence: Domesecration, Capitalism, and Global Conflict
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43. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Louke van Wensveen, Mark Coeckelbergh: Environmental Skill: Motivation, Knowledge, and the Possibility of a Non-Romantic Environmental Ethics
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44. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Joseph A. Tuminello III, Rhuks Ako: Environmental Justice in Developing Countries: Perspectives from Africa and Asia-Pacific
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comment
45. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Phillip Cafaro, Getting Real on Reproductive Rights
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46. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
News and Notes
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features
47. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Christian Diehm, Should Extinction be Forever? Restitution, Restoration, and Reviving Extinct Species
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“De-extinction” projects propose to re-create or “resurrect” extinct species. Perhaps the most common justification offered for these projects is that humans have an obligation to make restitution to species we have eradicated. There are three versions of this argument for de-extinction—one individualistic, one concerned with species, and one that emphasizes ecological restoration—and all three fail to provide a compelling case for species revival. A general critique of de-extinction can be sketched that highlights how it can both facilitate inattentiveness to biological and ecological boundaries and foster a managerial mentality toward the natural world.
48. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Benjamin R. Jones, Benjamin K. Sovacool, Roman V. Sidortsov, Making the Ethical and Philosophical Case for “Energy Justice”
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A new conceptual framework, “energy justice,” provides a more comprehensive and, po­tentially, better way to assess and resolve energy-related dilemmas. This new framework of energy justice builds on four fundamental assumptions and consists of two key principles: a prohibitive principle which states that “energy systems must be designed and constructed in such a way that they do not unduly interfere with the ability of people to acquire those basic goods to which they are justly entitled,” and an affirmative principle which states that “if any of the basic goods to which people are justly entitled can only be secured by means of energy services, then in that case there is also a derivative entitlement to the energy services.” These two principles are premised on the notion that energy serves as a material prerequisite for many of the basic goods to which people are entitled. They also recognize that the externalities associated with energy systems often interfere with the enjoyment of such fundamental goods as security and welfare. They acknowledge that the structuring of energy systems has profound ramifications for human societies, providing historically unprecedented benefits for some, and taking from others the possibility of living a life of basic human dignity.
discussion papers
49. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Russell Butkus, Solidarity: Does the Modern Catholic Rights Tradition have Anything to Offer Environmental Virtue Ethics?
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Within the last decade those familiar with environmental ethics have witnessed a resurgence of environmental virtue ethics. According to Louke van Wensveen, ecological virtue language is “rapidly growing” and “represents a distinct moral discourse with an internal unity and logic”—what she calls “an integral discourse.” Does the modern Catholic rights tradition (aka Catholic social teaching) have anything to contribute to this ethical discourse? Grounded historically in neo-Thomistic natural law and virtue ethics, Catholic social teaching originated as a response to late ninteenth- and early twentieth-century social and economic crises (e.g., the Great Depression). Out of this application emerged the virtue of solidarity. However, an analysis of recent discourse in environmental virtue ethics shows that the treatment of solidarity as an environmental virtue is rather thin in the literature. Nevertheless, with the development of solidarity and the expanding notion of the common good, inclusive of the planetary commons, in recent Catholic documents, solidarity is “translatable” into the realm of ecological virtue ethics. As an environmental virtue, solidarity should be interpreted as “biophilic solidarity” grounded in the genetic homology of evolutionary speciation, and defined as the consistent habit of character expressed in the recognition of our fundamental interrelatedness with the human and nonhuman. As a virtue biophilic solidarity takes explicit shape in determined active engagement (praxis) to create, promote, and restore the universal common good of creation. In relation to the human-centered Catholic rights tradition, the status of nature is examined drawing on an axiological analysis of nature indicating that the natural world holds a spectrum of values including utilitarian and intrinsic value. The concluding reflection points to the shortfall of environmental virtue ethics without an accompanying social ethic in the interest of an ecological vision for a sustainable society.
50. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Emma Rush, A Gaitan Account of Environmental Ethics
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An environmental ethics mirroring the distinctive account given by Raimond Gaita of human ethics offers a number of advantages. By understanding the moral significance of individuals to be related primarily to whether they are intelligible objects of love, a Gaitan environmental ethics clarifies the conceptual connections between experiences familiar to those who affirm environmental value: perception of intrinsic value in nature, love of particular natural things or places, an expanded sense of depth of meaning in life, and the sense that environmental commitment is partially constitutive of identity. It highlights the importance of an attitudinal shift in promoting broader acceptance of environmental ethics, and the need for nature preservation, environmental culture, and environmentally committed people who live with integrity to facilitate such an attitudinal shift. Finally, by explaining (via the critical concept of anthropocentrism) the depth of meaning in life that affirmation of environmental value makes possible, it might play a small role in reducing barriers to such affirmation. A Gaitan approach clarifies the conceptual connections between experiences familiar to many who affirm environmental value, highlights the importance of nature preservation, of environmental culture, and of environmentally committed people, and can provide the advantage of a deeper meaning in life over the current norm of seeing nature instrumentally.