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Eco-ethica

Volume 5, 2016

Ethics and Environment / Éthique et environment

Tilman Borsche
Pages 41-57

(Wie) lässt sich ethische Verantwortung für die natürliche Umwelt begründen?

Nature doesn’t need our care, the environment does. “Our” environment is a relational term implying surroundings that are inhabitable, allowing us not only to survive but to live good lives. For ages our “natural” environment was understood as that part of our environment that was given by nature and, therefore, not accessible to human actions as are our cultural and social environments. We had to accept it and adapt to it. Nowadays we are faced with the fact that more and more parts of our natural environment can be and are altered or prevented from altering by human manipulations. So ethical responsibility is extending beyond the traditional fields of social and cultural environmental conditions. We will have to find answers to the new question of what kind of nature we want to preserve, to cultivate, and to build, and for whom and to whom we are responsible.