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Environmental Ethics

Volume 18, Issue 4, Winter 1996

Eric H. Reitan
Pages 411-424

Deep Ecology and the Irrelevance of Morality

Both Arne Naess and Warwick Fox have argued that deep ecology, in terms of “Selfrealization,” is essentially nonmoral. I argue that the attainment of the ecological Self does not render morality in the richest sense “superfluous,” as Fox suggests. To the contrary, the achievement of the ecological Self is a precondition for being a truly moral person, both from the perspective of a robust Kantian moral framework and from the perspective of Aristotelian virtue ethics. The opposition between selfregard and morality is a false one. The two are the same. The ecological philosophy of Naess and Fox is an environmental ethic in the grand tradition of moral philosophy.

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