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81. 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.
82. 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.
83. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Michael Losonsky Philosophy and the Ecological Problem, a Special Issue of Filozoficky Casopis
84. 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.
85. 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.
86. 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.
87. 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.
88. 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.
89. 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.
90. 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.
91. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Dave Foreman Martin, Watson, and Eco-sabotage
92. 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.
93. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Saroj Chawla Linguistic and Philosophical Roots of Our Environmental Crisis
94. 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.
95. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Anthony Weston On Callicott’s Case against Moral Pluralism
96. 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.
97. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Marc Bekoff, Dale Jamieson Sport Hunting as an Instinct
98. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Alastair S. Gunn The Restoration of Species and Natural Environments
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My aims in this article are threefold. First, I evaluate attempts to drive a wedge between the human and the natural in order to show that destroyed natural environments and extinct species cannot be restored; next, I examine the analogy between aesthetic value and the value of natural environments; and finally, I suggest briefly a different set of analogies with such human associations as families and cultures. My tentative conclusion is that while the recreation of extinct species may be logically impossible, the restoration of natural environments raises only (formidable, no doubt) technical difficulties. Opponents of destructive developments which do not exterminate species, therefore, had better look elsewhere, rather than relying on the claim that restoration is logically impossible.
99. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Steve Odin The Japanese Concept of Nature in Relation to the Environmental Ethics and Conservation Aesthetics of Aldo Leopold
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I focus on the religio-aesthetic concept of nature in Japanese Buddhism as a valuable complement to environmental philosophy in the West and develop an explicit comparison of the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature and the ecological world view of Aldo Leopold. I discuss the profound current of ecological thought running through the Kegon, Tendai, Shingon, Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren Buddhist traditions as weIl as modem Japanese philosophy as represented by Nishida Kitarö and Watsuji Tetsurö. In this context, I present the Japanese concept of nature as an aesthetic continuum of interdependent events based on a field paradigm of reality. I show how the Japanese concept of nature entails an extension of ethics to include the relation between humans and the land. I argue that in both the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature and the thought of Aldo Leopold there is a hierarchy of normative values which grounds the land ethic in aland aesthetic. I also clarify the soteric concept of nature in Japanese Buddhism by which the natural environment becomes the ultimate locus of salvation for all sentient beings. In this way, I argue that the Japanese Buddhist concept of nature represents a fundamental shift from the egocentric to an ecocentric position-i.e., a de-anthropocentric standpoint which is nature-centered as opposed to human-centered.
100. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Jim Cheney Callicott’s “Metaphysics of Morals”
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In his campaign against moral pluralism, J. Baird Callicott has attempted to bring “theoretical unity and closure” to environmental ethics by providing a “metaphysics of morals” encompassing environmental, interpersonal, and social concems, as weIl as concems for domesticated animals. The central notion in this metaphysics is the community concept. I discuss two quite different, and separable, aspects of Callicott’s project. First, I argue that his metaphysics of morals does not provide ethical unity and closure. Second, and less specifically focused on Callicott, I discuss the thesis that we can derive ethical obligations from descriptions of the structures of the various communities to which we belong.