Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 1991
R. P. Peerenboom
A Reconstruction of Daoist Environmental Ethics
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.