Environmental Ethics

Volume 10, Issue 3, Fall 1988

Brent A. Singer
Pages 217-231

An Extension of Rawls’ Theory of Justice to Environmental Ethics

By combining and augmenting recent arguments that have appeared in the literature, I show how a modified Rawlsian theory of justice generates a strong environmental and animal rights ethic. These modifications include significant changes in the conditions of the contract situation vis-a-vis A Theory of Justice, but I argue that these modifications are in fact more consistent with Rawls’ basic assumptions about the functions of a veil of ignorance and a thin theory of the good.