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141. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Erik Anderson Ethics Commands, Aesthetics Demands: Environmental Aesthetics for Environmental Justice in Newark
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I identify a commonly held position in environmental philosophy, “the received view,” and argue that its proponents beg the question when challenged to demonstrate the relevance of environmental aesthetics for environmental justice. I call this “the inference problem,” and I go on to argue that an alternative to the received view, Arnold Berleant’s participatory engagement model, is better equipped to meet the challenge it poses. By adopting an alternative metaphysics, the engagement model supplies a solution to the inference problem and thereby provides a more useful theoretical framework for application to pressing concernsin environmental justice, such as the plight of the historical Ironbound District of Newark, New Jersey.
142. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Steve Vanderheiden, Melanie Sisson Ethically Responsible Leisure? Promoting Social and Environmental Justice Through Ecotourism
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Ecotourism has been lauded as a potentially effective means for raising revenue for nature conservation, and certification schemes likewise promise to help to “sustain the well-being of local people” in ecotourist destinations. In this paper, we consider the social and environmental justice dimensions of ecotourism through the certification schemes that define the industry, treating the desire to engage in ethically responsible travel as a necessary but insufficient condition for bringing about these desired ends, and one that requires accurate and trustworthy information in order to effectively realize ecotourism’s potential to engage normative concerns through leisure activities.
143. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Kyle Powys Whyte An Ethics of Recognition for Environmental Tourism Practices
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Environmental tourism is a growing practice in indigenous communities worldwide. As members of indigenous communities, what environmental justice framework should we use to evaluate these practices? I argue that, while some of the most relevant and commonly discussed norms are fair compensation and participative justice, we should also follow Robert Figueroa’s claim that “recognition justice” is relevant for environmental justice. I claim that from Figueroa’s analysis there is a “norm of direct participation,” which requires all environmental tourism practices to feature a forum for meaningful representation andconsideration. This claim motivates a distinction between practices that should be termed “mutually advantageous exploitation” and those that should be termed “environmental coalition development.” We need to ask ourselves whether we should continue to tolerate mutually advantageous exploitation and how we can increase the number of practices that develop coalitions.
144. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Keith Bosak Ecotourism as Environmental Justice? Discourse and the Politics of Scale in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India
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This paper uses the case of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve to illustrate how ecotourism can be a vehicle for environmental justice. I use discourse analysis and the politics of scale to argue that an expanded notion of environmental justice does account for the myriad movements for resource rights occurring all over the world. In this case, framing the struggle through ecotourism with a focus on social justice provided local people a way to engage the mainstream environmental movement and address the injustices of its exclusionary and biocentric practices while providing for themselves a viable livelihood option.
145. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Mark Coeckelbergh Environmental Virtue: Motivation, Skill, and (In)formation Technology
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Environmental virtue ethics faces the problem of motivation: there is a gap between knowledge and action. This paper first analyzes the roots of this problem and discusses possible solutions that require the use of imagination and information technology. Then it reformulates the problem of motivation and the question concerning environmental virtue by using the notion of skill. It sketches the contours of a non-Romantic and non-Stoic virtue ethics that attempts to move beyond dualist assumptions concerning the relations between humans, nature, and technology. In this way, the paper shows how environmental philosophy can benefit from a dialogue with philosophy of technology.
146. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Pierluigi Barrotta James Lovelock, Gaia Theory, and the Rejection of Fact/Value Dualism
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In this paper the relationship between Gaia theory and fact/value dualism must be understood from two angles: I shall use Gaia as a case study to show the philosophical limits of dualism, and I shall also use the discussion of fact/value dualism to clarify the contents of Gaia theory. My basic thesis is that Lovelock is right when rejecting the suggestion that he should clear his theory of evaluative considerations. He is right because in his theory facts and moral values are strictly interwoven and therefore cannot be conceptually separated. I shall show this point by arguing that if we dropped the evaluative components from Gaia theory we would not have the same theory cleared of those evaluative components. Instead we would have a theory with a different empirical meaning and different explanatory characteristics.
147. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Philip Rose Spatio-Temporal Facticity and the Dissymmetry of Nature: A Peircean-Based Defense of Some Essential Distinctions of Nature
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This is an attempt to work the ground in the philosophy of nature by trying to articulate in a clear and rigorous philosophical sense what Nature is. This will involve pressing the question of nature to the point of essential distinctions in the hope of disclosing conditions that mark Nature as a distinct conception and general mode of being. Drawing and building upon Peirce’s account of “facts,” time and space, and the “dissymmetry” of nature, I will suggest some ways in which the essential distinctness of Nature can be framed. I will end by offering a parting glance at some of the implications that might follow from the distinctions constructed.
148. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Andrew Gibson Ideas and Practices in the Critique of Consumerism
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Drawing on the works of philosophers Charles Taylor and Joseph Heath, this paper argues that the critique of consumerism is too often separated into an emphasis on “ideas” or “practices.” Taylor’s critique is set against the backdrop of his interpretation of the ideas and values that are constitutive of Western selfhood. To engage in excessive consumption, on this view, is to betray the ideals underlying one’s cultural identity. Heath, by contrast, argues that critics of consumerism must avoid this kind of ideas-based social criticism because it is not only unproductive, but also illiberal and elitist. The phenomenon of consumerism must be approached, rather, by way of an institutional critique that treats excessive consumption as a collective action problem arising within the context of the market economy. The paper argues that while Heath makes an invaluable contribution to the critique of consumerism, his misunderstanding of the importance of ideas is such that his critique ultimately lacks vigor and persuasiveness.
149. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Luke Roelofs There is No Biotic Community
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It has been suggested that the biosphere and its component ecological systems be thought of as “communities”; this is often invoked as a reason to attribute it moral significance. I first disambiguate this claim, distinguishing the purely moral, social-factual, and biological-factual senses of this term, as well as distinguishing primary from derived meanings, drawing on material from philosophy, sociology, psychology, and ecology. I then argue that the ethically important sense of the term is one that does not apply to ecological systems, though it could in the future, and that it is misleading to base ethical arguments on claims about “biotic communities.”
150. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Christiane Bailey Kinds of Life: On the Phenomenological Basis of the Distinction between “Higher” and “Lower” Animals
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Drawing upon Husserl and Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological constitution of the Other through Einfühlung, I argue that the hierarchical distinction between higher and lower animals—which has been dismissed by Heidegger for being anthropocentric—must not be conceived as an objective distinction between “primitive” animals and “more evolved” ones, but rather corresponds to a phenomenological distinction between familiar and unfamiliar animals.
151. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
James Hatley Blaspheming Humans: Levinasian Politics and The Cove
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The Cove, a recent documentary on the harvesting and slaughter of dolphins in Taiji Japan, envisions this practice as a mode of blasphemy. While the reintroduction of a notion of blasphemy into the search for inter-species justice can illuminate the intensity of the evil one witnesses, one must be wary of this notion’s ethical, political and social implications. In place of a politics of outrage that is deployed by the film, an argument is made for a politics of expiation. In a politics of expiation one begins one’s conversation with the alleged wrongdoer/blasphemer in penitential rather than accusatory witness.
152. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Shane D. Courtland Hobbesian Justification for Animal Rights
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Hobbes’s political and ethical theories are rarely viewed as places by which those who protect the weak seek refuge. It would seem odd, then, to suggest that such a theory might be able to protect the weakest among us—non-human animals. In this paper, however, I will defend the possibility of a Hobbesian justification for animal rights. The Hobbesian response to the problem of compliance allows contractarianism to extend (at least some) normative protection to animals. Such protection, as I will argue, has a similar justificational foundation as the protection we offer other humans.
153. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Deborah Bird Rose Multispecies Knots of Ethical Time
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Death narratives, nurturance, and transitive crossings within species and between species open pathways into entanglements of life of earth. This paper engages with time in both sequential and synchronous modes, investigating interfaces where time, species, and nourishment become densely knotted up in ethics of gift, motion, death, life, and desire. The further aim is to consider the dynamic ripples generated by anthropogenic mass death in multispecies knots of ethical time, and to gesture toward a practice of writing as witness.
154. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Michelle Bastian Fatally Confused: Telling the Time in the Midst of Ecological Crises
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Focusing particularly on the role of the clock in social life, this article explores the conventions we use to “tell the time.” I argue that although clock time generally appears to be an all-encompassing tool for social coordination, it is actually failing to coordinate us with some of the most pressing ecological changes currently taking place. Utilizing philosophical approaches to performativity to explore what might be going wrong, I then draw on Derrida’s and Haraway’s understandings of social change in order to suggest a fairly unconventional, but perhaps more accurate, mode of reckoning time in the context of climate change, resource depletion, and mass extinctions.
155. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
James Hatley The Virtue of Temporal Discernment: Rethinking the Extent and Coherence of the Good in a Time of Mass Species Extinction
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How might human beings be called to exercise virtue, which is to say, modes of acknowledgement, humility, and discernment, in regard to the impending (no matter how distant chronologically) extinction of the human species? It is argued that the inevitable extinction of the human species be affirmed as a good, in spite of how daunting and uncanny this act might be. This affirmation is called for as humans struggle to find an ethical response appropriate to their creaturely existence, as well as to their devastating complicity in a historical and geological moment of mass species extinction.
156. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Jacob Metcalf, Thom van Dooren Editorial Preface
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The collection of essays in this special issue of Environmental Philosophy addresses the role that temporality, or lived time, should have in environmental philosophy, and especially ethics. The role of time in environmental ethics has largely been restricted to an empty container for human agency to do good or ill. By understanding time as material, produced, constructed, maintained, lived, multiple, and a more-than-human concern, the authors in this collection are able to ask which times are liveable for humans and non-humans alike. Once the specificities of lived time are accounted for, it becomes clear that not all temporalities are identical and synchronous, and that environmental philosophy must attend to the ruptures in ecological time.
157. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Katherine Wright Pining for the Present: Ecological Remembrance and Healing in the Armidale State Forest
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The Armidale State Forest is a pine plantation at the edge of the Armidale city in New South Wales, Australia. In 2000 and 2007 large parts of the forest were destroyed in clear-felling operations. This sparked community outrage which led to the formation of advocacy groups who have begun to restore the forest despite its controversial position as a “conifer invader” in Eucalypt country. In this paper I focus on the way personal memories are embodied in the pine forms to challenge the native/invasive divide in Australian conservation discourse. I argue that the destruction of this devalued ecology caused a traumatic rupture to the Armidale communities’ connection to a forest which preserves their pasts. To heal this environmental and psychological damage, I propose a recuperative approach termed “ecological remembrance” that strives to repair severed connections between people and place.
158. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Astrid Schrader The Time of Slime: Anthropocentrism in Harmful Algal Research
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Drawing on scientific accounts of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) and their detection technologies, this paper asks what conceptions of time and species presences enable a mapping of the biological productivity of microorganisms onto economic productivity or the loss thereof and how certain modes of technoscientific detection of specific algae materialize such a conception of time, circumscribing what counts as harmfulness and to whom. Moving beyond the mere affirmation of the activity of nonhuman nature, I seek to demonstrate how an epistemological anthropocentrism in scientific knowledge production that opposes historically flexible and technologically enhanced human creativity to its atemporal object of study manifests itself as a political anthropocentrism that presupposes “our” time as the unalterable movement of Homo Economicus. Such a political conception of time is supported by a view of “life itself” as a teleological process toward ever increasing complexity, effacing the possibility of asking to whom the current ecological transformations matter.
159. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Robert Kirkman Transitory Places
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As a contribution to an experiential approach to environmental ethics, I seek to incorporate into the experience of place a sense of the passing of time across multiple scales. This may spur the recognition that places we are pleased to experience as stable backdrops for our projects may be transitory, in the short or long term, with important consequences for ethical deliberation. The occasion for this essay is a visit to the Karori Sanctuary in Wellington, New Zealand, the site of an ambitious restoration project set against the backdrop of ongoing biogeographic upheaval.
160. Environmental Philosophy: Volume > 9 > Issue: 1
Peter S. Alagona, John Sandlos, Yolanda F. Wiersma Past Imperfect: Using Historical Ecology and Baseline Data for Conservation and Restoration Projects in North America
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Conservation and restoration programs usually involve nostalgic claims about the past, along with calls to return to that past or recapture some aspect of it. Knowledge of history is essential for such programs, but the use of history is fraught with challenges. This essay examines the emergence, development, and use of the “ecological baseline” concept for three levels of biological organization. We argue that the baseline concept is problematic for establishing restoration targets. Yet historical knowledge—more broadly conceived to include both social and ecological processes—will remain essential for conservation and restoration.