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41. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Robert C. Oelhaf Environmental Ethics: Atomistic Abstraction or Holistic Affection?
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For conventional economics things have value only to the degree that they give pleasure to individual human beings. In response to continuing environmental deterioration several alternatives have been offered for valuing resources and allocating them between generations. Most of these approaches are highly abstract. The deterioration of the Earth and the mistreatment of its inhabitants will not be stemmed by abstractions. Neither will abstract ideas direct us to the best use of our resources. We need to foster personal relationships between human beings and particular portions of the Earth.
42. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
P. Aarne Vesilind, Richard J. Ellis, Lewis Ricci COMMENT
43. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Peter Heinegg Ecology and Social Justice: Ethical Dilemmas and Revolutionary Hopes
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The destructive tension between human needs and environmental conservation arises from flaws in our political and economic structures. Oppression of people and devastation of nature go hand in hand, and the root of both these evils is the denial of otherness. The ecology movement is basically a movement of liberation, and is in league, de jure and de facto, with other liberation movements, since it seeks to promote the rights ofthe nonhuman world. In this context, subjugation of the Other is immoral in all forms and ultimately suicidal. Recognition of the value of nonhuman nature doesn’t preclude a rational use of it, but requires something analogous to the primitive custom of apologizing to the spirits of prey, i.e., a mixture of religious respect and common sense. Awareness of the beauty and power of nature, like awareness ofthe injured rights of our fellow humans, creates a revolutionary moral imperative to change the life of our society.
44. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Roland C. Clement Watson’s Reciprocity of Rights and Duties
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Richard A. Watson’s proposal that rights inhere only in those who can perform duties is here objected to as being too intellectualistic. Instead, it is suggested that rights inhere in all those who participate in the process of becoming, as A. N. Whitehead proposed half a century ago. Ecological science lends new support to this view.
45. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Christopher Manes Philosophy and the Environmental Task
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Although the particular ethical consequenees of biocentrism can be defended at a logical level, the centrality of problems with valuational frameworks in biocentric ethics leads to ontologieal ambiguities which contribute to the broader problematic of modem metaphysics. I suggest, however, that this may actually help to thematize the relationship between the metaphysieal foundations of environmentalism and its social task. Mysticism and phenomenology, including the concept of the “ecological self,” attempt to settle these ambiguities in a dialectical opposition to the technological world view behind the environmental crisis. Whatever ontological stability they achieve, however, is at the expense of being assimilated by the same kind of metaphysical totalization characterizing technological thinking. Unlike anthropocentrism and the stewardship model of environmentalism, nevertheless, these difficulties for biocentrism lead to positive results: the ambiguities in the search for philosophic stability and foundational certainty can act as a cue to the nonmetaphysical task of analyzing and resisting technological power. The result may be a “negative ethics,” but one that holds out the possibility of confronting the real power relations of technological culture (and the use of ethics within them), rather than pursuing the endless projeet of discovering the hidden source of value and meaning.
46. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
47. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
48. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Mark Sagoff Some Problems with Environmental Economics
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In this essay I criticize the contigent valuation method in resource economics and the concepts of utility and efficiency upon which it is based. I consider an example of this method and argue that it cannot-as it pretends-substitute for public education and political deliberation.
49. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Fred Gifford Bryan G. Norton, ed.: The Preservation of Species
50. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Michael E. Zimmerman Quantum Theory, Intrinsic Value, and Panentheism
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J. Baird Callicott seeks to resolve the problem of the intrinsic value of nature by utilizing a nondualistic paradigm derived from quantum theory. His approach is twofold. According to his less radical approach, quantum theory shows that properties once considered to be “primary” and “objective” are in fact the products of interactions between observer and observed. Values are also the products of such interactions. According to his more radical approach, quantum theory’s doctrine of internal relations is the model for the idea that everything is intrinsically valuable because the “I” is intrinsically valuable and related to everything else. I argue that humanity’s treatment of nature will become respectful only as humanity’s awareness evolves toward nondualism, and that such nondualistic awareness will not be produced by changes in scientific theory alone. Nevertheless, as Callicott suggests, such changes may be harbingers of evolutionary trends in human awareness. I conclude with a sketch of how nondualism, especially in its panentheistic version, provides the basis for environmental ethics.