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181. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Val Plumwood Ethics and Instrumentalism: A Response to Janna Thompson
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I argue that Janna Thompson’s critique of environmental ethics misrepresents the work of certain proponents of non-instrumental value theory and overlooks the ways in which intrinsie values have been related to valuers and their preferences. Some of the difficulties raised for environmental ethics (e.g., individuation) are real but would only be fatal if environmental ethics could not be supplemented by a wider environmental philosophy and practice. The proper context and motivation for the development of non-instrumental theories is not that of an objectivist value theory but rejection of the human domination and chauvinism involved in even the broadest instrumental accounts of nature as spiritual resource.
182. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Kelly Bulkley The Quest for Transformational Experience
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Michael E. Zimmennan claims that the fundamental source of our society’s destructive environmental practices is our “dualistic consciousness,” our tendency to see ourselves as essentially separate from the rest of the world; he argues that only by means of the transfonnational experience of nondualistic consciousness can we develop a more life-enhancing environmental ethic. I suggest that dreams and dream interpretation may provide exactly this sort of experience. Dreams present us with powerful challenges to the ordinary categories and structures of our daily lives, and they reveal in numinous, transformational images how we are ultimately members of a web of being that includes alllife. I offer Victor Tumer’s concept of communitas as a means of clarifying and unifying the issues Zimmennan and I are discussing. In conclusion I sketch out some of the practical applications of these ideas to the task of improving our society’s treatment of the environment.
183. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Robin Attfield Has the History of Philosophy Ruined the Environment?
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I review and appraise Eugene C. Hargrove’s account of the adverse impacts of Western philosophy on attitudes to the environment. Although significant qualifications have to be entered, for there are grounds to hold that philosophical traditions which have encouraged taking nature seriously are not always given their due by Hargrove, and that environmental thought can draw upon deeper roots than he allows, his verdict that the history of philosophy has discouraged preservationist attitudes is substantially correct. Environmental philosophy thus has a significant (if not quite an unrivalled) role to play in the reconstruction of many of the traditional branches of philosophy, as weIl as in the protection of the natural world.
184. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
185. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Gary E. Varner No Holism without Pluralism
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In his recent essay on moral pluralism in environmental ethics, J. Baird Callicott exaggerates the advantages of monism, ignoring the environmentally unsound implications of Leopold’s holism. In addition, he fails to see that Leopold’s view requires the same kind of intellectual schitzophrenia for which he criticizes the version of moral pluralism advocated by Christopher D. Stone in Earth and Other Ethics. If itis plausible to say that holistic entities like ecosystems are directly morally considerable-and that is a very big if-it must be for a very different reason than is usually given for saying that individual human beings are directly morally considerable.
186. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
187. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
188. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Steven Nadler Daisie Radner and Michael Radner: Animal Consciousness
189. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
190. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Dave Foreman Martin, Watson, and Eco-sabotage
191. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Max Oelschlaeger Elinor W. Gadon: The Once and Future Goddess: A Symbol of Our Time
192. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Jim Cheney Arne Naess: Ecology, Community and Lifestyle: Outline of an Ecosophy
193. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Bryan G. Norton Thoreau’s Insect Analogies: Or Why Environmentalists Hate Mainstream Economists
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Thoreau believed that we can learn how to live by observing nature, a view that appeals to modem environmentalists. This doctrine is exemplified in Thoreau’s use of insect analogies to illustrate how humans, like butterflies, can be transformed from the “larval” stage, which relates to the physical world through consumption, to a “perfect” state in which consumption is less important, and in which freedom and contemplation are the ends of life. This transformational idea rests upon a theory of dynamic dualism in which the animal and the spiritual self remain in tension, but in which the “maturity” of the individual-transcendence of economic demands as imposed by society-emerges through personal growth based on observation of nature. Thoreau’s dynamic theory of value, and its attractiveness to environmentalists, explains why environmentalists reject the mainstream, neoclassical economic paradigm. This paradigm accepts consumer preferences as “givens” and treats these preferences as thesource of all value in their model. Because Thoreau insists that there is value in transformations from one preference set to another, the neoclassical paradigm cannot capture this central value, and cannot account for the environmentalists’ emphasis on public “education” to reduce consunlptive demands of humans on their environment.
194. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Roderick Nash John Young: Sustaining the Earth
195. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
196. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Saroj Chawla Linguistic and Philosophical Roots of Our Environmental Crisis
197. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Kenneth Sayre An Alternative View of Environmental Ethics
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Environmental ethics continues to be dominated by an in/erential view of ethical theory, according to which moral prescriptions and proscriptions are deduced from general principles, which in turn are arrived at intuitively or by some form of induction. I argue that the inferential approach contributes litde to the pressing need which environmental philosophers have been attempting to address in recent decades-the need for a set of normative values actually in place within industrial society that will help preserve the environment from human destruction. I propose an alternative view according to which the aim of environmental ethics is (1) a clear understanding of how moral norms actually come to be instituted in a given society, (2) the analysis of the practical effect of such norms from an environmental perspective, and (3) an examination of the relative desirability of alternative norms in light of their environmental effects. In pursuing this aim, environmental ethics should join forces with anthropology, economics, and other areas of social science in hopes of generatirtg a basis for empirical information about how moral norms actually operate. Such information might help persuade society at large of the importance of being guided by an environmentally sound set of normative values.
198. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Anthony Weston On Callicott’s Case against Moral Pluralism
199. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
200. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
John N. Martin Order Theoretic Properties of Holistic Ethical Theories
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Using concepts from abstract algebra and type theory, I analyze the structural presuppositions of any holistic ethical theory. This study is motivated by such recent holistic theories in environmental ethics as Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, James E. Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis, Arne Naess’ deep ecology, and various aesthetic ethics of the sublime. I also discuss the holistic and type theoretic assumptions of suchstandard ethical theories as hedonism, natural rights theory, utilitarianism, Rawls’ difference principle, and fascism. I argue that although there are several common senses of part-whole in ethical theory, the central sense of holism in ethics is that of a theory that defines its key moral idea as an emergent group property grounded in the relational properties of its individual constituents. Hedonism and Kantianism do not count as holistic in this sense. Natural rights theory does in adegenerate way. Utilitarianism and various environmental ethics are paradigm examples. I point out as a general structural weakness of environmental holistic theories that their first-order grounding in nonmoral vocabulary seems to preclude an explanation of many moral intuitions about human ethics.