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201. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
AIdo Leopold Means and Ends in Wild Life Management
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[Although research in wildlife management is repeating the history of agriculture, unlike agricultural research, which employs scientific means for economic ends, the ends of wildlife research are judged in terms of aesthetic satisfactions as governed by “good taste.” Wild animals and plants are economically valuable only in the sense that human performers and works of art are: the means are of the brain, but the ends are of the heart. Wildlife management has forged ahead of agriculture in recognizing the invisible interdependencies in the biotic community. Moreover, it has admitted its inability to replace natural equilibria and its unwillingness to do so even if it could. Because many animals do not exhibit their natural behavior under laboratory conditions, researchers are dependent on observation in the wild. The difficulties involved in isolating variables are especially clear in the study of the natural cycle. It is a problem which seems to defy the experimental method.]
202. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Michael Martin Ecosabotage and Civil Disobedience
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I define ecosabotage and relate this definition to several well-known analyses of civil disobedience. I show that ecosabotage cannot be reduced to a form of civil disobedience unless the definition of civil disobedience is expanded. I suggest that ecosabotage and civil disobedience are special cases of the more general concept of conscientious wrongdoing. Although ecosabotage cannot be considered a form of civil disobedience on the basis of the standard analysis of this concept, the civil disobedience literature can provide important insights into the justification of ecosabotage. First, traditional appeals to a higher law in justifying ecosabotage are no more successful than they are in justifying civil disobedience. Second, utilitarian justifications of ecosabotage are promising. At present there is no apriori reason tosuppose that some acts of ecosabotage could not be justified on utilitarian grounds, although such ecosaboteurs as Dave Foreman have not provided a full justification of its use in concrete cases.
203. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Kelly Parker The Values of a Habitat
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Recent severe environmental crises have brought us to recognize the need for a broad reevaluation of the relation of humans to their environments. I suggest that we consider the human-nature relation from two overlapping perspectives, each informed by the pragmatic philosophy of expeIience. The first is an anthropology, according to which humans are viewed as being radically continuous with their environments. The second is a comprehensive ecology, according to which both “natural” and “nonnatural” environments are studied as artificial habitats of the human organism (i.e., as artifacts). The pragmatic approach has two features which make it promising as a way to ground environmental thinking. First, it allows us to avoid a human-nature dichotomy and the many problems which that dichotomy has traditionally engendered . Second, it ties environmental questions to a common cultural experience and a philosophical position from which environmentalists can effectively engage mainstreameducational and political discussions.
204. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 12 > Issue: 4
Robert W. Gardiner Between Two Worlds: Humans in Nature and Culture
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In this essay, I set forth a view of humans as creatures living at once in two worlds: the world of nature and the world of culture. I explore some of the tensions and paradoxes entailed by this position, as weIl as the implications for ethics, both interhuman and environmental. I also critique the distortions entailed by ethical stances which draw too heavily on one polarity or the other without taking sufficient account of the discontinuities between them.
205. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
R. P. Peerenboom Beyond Naturalism: A Reconstruction of Daoist Environmental Ethics
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In this paper I challenge the traditional reading of Daoism as naturalism and the interpretation of wu wei as “acting naturally.” I argue that such an interpretation is problematic and unhelpful to the would-be Daoist environmental ethicist. I then lay the groundwork for a philosophically viable environmental ethic by elucidating the pragmatic aspects of Daoist thought. While Daoism so interpreted is no panacea for all of our environmental ills, it does provide a methodology that may prove effective in alleviating some of our discomfort.
206. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Roger J. H. King Environmental Ethics and the Case for Hunting
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Hunting is a complex phenomenon. l examine it from four different perspectives-animal liberation, the land ethic, primitivism, and ecofeminism-and find no moral justification for sport hunting in any of them. At the same time, however, I argue that there are theoretical flaws in each of these approaches. Animal liberationists focus too much on the individual animal and ignore the difference between domestic and wild animals. Leopold’s land ethic fails to come to terms with the self-domestication of humans. I argue that the holism of the land ethic does not in itself justify hunting as a human act of predation appropriate to the demands of wild biotic communities. Primitivists, such as Paul Shepard and Ortega y Gasset, mistakenly argue that hunting is an essential part of human nature and hence part of a healthy return to a natural way of life. Their argument marginalizes women’s relations to nature. Finally, I take seriously the ecofeminist claim that sport hunting is a symptom ofpatriarchy’s fixation on death and violence, although I criticize the more radical claim that women are closer to nature than men. Hunting should be investigated within the broader context of patriarchal social relations between men and women. As an act of violence it constitutes one element of a cultural matrix which is destructive to hoth women and nature.
207. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
James C. Anderson Moral Planes and Intrinsic Values
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In his book, Earth and Other Ethics, Christopher Stone attempts to account for the moral dimension of our lives insofar as it extends to nonhuman animals, plants, species, ecosystems, and even inanimate objects. In his effort to do this, he introduces a technical notion, the moral plane. Moral planes are defined both by the ontological commitments they make and by the governance mIes (moral maxims) that pertain to the sorts of entities included in the plane. By introducing these planes, Stone is left with a set of problems. (1) Do the planes provide anything more objective than a set of alternative ways of looking at moral problems? (2) How can one resolve apparent conflicts between the recommendations forthcoming from distinct planes? (3) Why do certain entities constitute moral planes; and how do we decide which planes to “buy into?” Stone’s answers to these questions endorse aseries of concessions to moral relativism. In this paper I outline an alternative to Stone’s moral planes which, while sympathetic to his ethical concerns, comes down squarelyon the side of moral realism.
208. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Michael Losonsky Philosophy and the Ecological Problem, a Special Issue of Filozoficky Casopis
209. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Steven Keller, Sallie King, Steven Kraft Process Philosophy and Minimalism: Implications for Public Policy
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Using process philosophy, especially its view of nature and its ethic, we develop a process-based environmental ethic embodying minimalism and beneficience. From this perspective, we criticize the philosophy currently underlying public policy and examine some alternative approaches based on phenomenology and ethnomethodology. We conclude that process philosophy, minus its value hierarchy, is a powerful tool capable of supporting both radical and n10derate changes in environmental policy.
210. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Max O. Hallman Nietzsche’s Environmental Ethics
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I argue that Nietzsche’s thinking, contrary to the interpretation of Martin Heidegger, is compatible with an ecologically oriented, environmentally concemed philosophizing. In support of this contention, I show that Nietzsche’s critique of traditional Western thinking closely parallels the critique of this tradition by environmentalist writers such as Lynn White, Ir. I also show that one of the principal thrusts of Nietzsche’s own philosophizing consists of the attempt to overcome the kind of thinking that has provided a theoretical foundation for the technological control and exploitation of the natural world. Finally, I show that Nietzsche’s notion of the will to power, at least in several of its fonnulations, has certain affinities to the ecosystem approach of modem ecologists.
211. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Kareen B. Sturgeon The Classroom as a Model of the World
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This paper explores the relationship between science and ethics and its implications for educational refonn and environmental change. It is a personal account of my search to find a place for ethics in an environmental science dass and how, in the process, the dass itself is being transfonned. I document how I have come to believe that the dassroom is a model of the world: within my own development, thetransfonnation of a course is implicated and, within the development of the course, the potential transfonnation of an educational system and the world is enfolded.
212. 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.
213. 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.
214. 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.
215. 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.
216. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Dave Foreman Martin, Watson, and Eco-sabotage
217. 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.
218. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Saroj Chawla Linguistic and Philosophical Roots of Our Environmental Crisis
219. 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.
220. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Anthony Weston On Callicott’s Case against Moral Pluralism