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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Charles Hartshorne The Rights of the Subhuman World
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
J. Baird Callicott Elements of an Environmental Ethic: Moral Considerability and the Biotic Community
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Philip M. Smith, Richard A. Watson New Wilderness Boundaries
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
John N. Martin The Concept of the Irreplaceable
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An analysis is proposed for the common argument that something should be preserved because it is irreplaceable. The argument is shown to depend on modal elements in irreplaceable, existence assumptions of preserve, and the logic of obligation. In terms of this theory it is argued that utilitarianism can account for most, but not all instances of persuasive appeals to irreplaceability. Beingessentially backwards looking, utilitarianism cannot in principle justify preservation of objects irreplaceable because of their history or genesis.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Holmes Rolston, III Can and Ought We to Follow Nature?
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“Nature knows best” is reconsidered from an ecological perspective which suggests that we ought to follow nature. The phrase “follow nature” has many meanings. In an absolute law-of-nature sense, persons invariably and necessarily act in accordance with natural laws, and thus cannot but follow nature. In an artifactual sense, all deliberate human conduct is viewed as unnatural, and thus it is impossible to follow nature. As a result, the answer to the question, whether we can and ought to follow nature, must be sought in a relative sense according to which human conduct is sometimes more and sometimes less natural. Four specific relative senses are examined: a homeostatic sense, an imitative ethical sense, an axiological sense, and a tutorial sense. Nature can be followed in a homeostatic sense in which human conduct utilizes naturallaws for our well-being in a stable environment, but this following is nonmoral since the moral elements can be separated from it. Nature cannot be followed in an imitative ethical sense because nature itself is either amoral or, by some accounts, immoral. Guidance for inter-human ethical conduct, therefore, must be sought not in nature, but in human culture. Nevertheless, in an axiological sense, persons can and ought to follow nature by viewing it as an object of orienting interest and value. In this connection, three environments are distinguished for human well-being in whichwe can and ought to participate-the urban, the rural, and the wild. Finally, in a tutorial sense, persons can and ought to follow nature by letting it teach us son1ething of our human role, our place, and our appropriate character in the natural system as a whole. In this last sense, "following nature" is commended to anyone who seeks in his human conduct to maintain a good fit with the natural environment-a sense of following nature involving both efficiency and wisdom.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Donald C. Lee Some Ethical Decision Criteria with Regard to Procreation
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Susan L. Flader Leopold’s Some Fundamentals of Conservation: A Commentary
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Aldo Leopold Some Fundamentals of Conservation in the Southwest
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Leopold first discusses the conservation of natural resources in the southwestern United States in economic tenns, stressing, in particular, erosion and aridity. He then concludes his analysis with a discussion of the moral issues involved, developing his general position within the context of P. D. Ouspenky’s early philosophy of organism.
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
John B. Cobb, Christian Existence in a World of Limits
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The new awareness of limits profoundly challenges dominant habits of mind and styles of life. Although Christians have largely adopted these now inappropriate habits and styles, the Christian tradition has resources for a more appropriate response. Among these resources are Christian realism, the eschatological attitude, the discernment of Christ, the way of the cross, and prophetie vision. Finally, faith offers freedom from the burden of guilt of failing to live in a way appropriate to our newly perceived reality.
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Don Howard Commoner on Reductionism
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Barry Commoner has argued that the environmental failure of modern technology is due in large part to the reductionistic character ofmodern science, especially its biological component where the reductionist approach has triumphed in molecular biology. I claim, first, that Commoner has confused reduction in the sense of the reduction of one theory to another with what is better called analysis, or the strategy of breaking a whoie into its parts in order to understand the properties of the whole, this latter being the actual target of his attack. I then argue that his criticisms of molecular biology fail since each of the properties of the cell which he claims cannot be understood in an analytic fashion, such as reproduction, development and inheritance, can be so understood, and that, in fact, each of his putatively nonanalytic accounts of these properties is the result of analysis. Similarly, Commoner’s claim that ecosystenls possess properties that cannot be understood analytically is refuted by comparing ecosystems with automobiles, which Commoner acknowledges are susceptible to analysis, and by showing that there are no essential differences between the two. FinaIly, l observe that while it is false that ecosystems canna! be understood in analytic terms, it is true that they are not usually thus understood, and that the explanation for this is not that scientists subscribe to amistaken philosophy, but that our social institutions for the teaching and application of science do not adequately stress the importance of exploring the connections between the parts of such complex wholes.