Environmental Philosophy

Volume 3, Issue 2, Fall 2006

John R. White
Pages 44-51

Ecological Value Cognition and the American Capitalist Ethos

In this paper, I investigate what I call “ecological value cognition,” a term designating a cognitive process by which one understands: (1) a value or set of values which pertain to the environment, (2) that such values are morally relevant, and (3) that these values may invite or even require virtues, attitudes or actions with respect to them and the entities which bear them. I seek, in this paper, to elucidate the nature of ecological value cognition and suggest specific challenges that the American capitalist ethos poses for understanding these values and therefore for developing a sound environmental ethics and policy.