Environmental Philosophy

Volume 9, Issue 1, Spring 2012

James Hatley
Pages 1-21

The Virtue of Temporal Discernment
Rethinking the Extent and Coherence of the Good in a Time of Mass Species Extinction

How might human beings be called to exercise virtue, which is to say, modes of acknowledgement, humility, and discernment, in regard to the impending (no matter how distant chronologically) extinction of the human species? It is argued that the inevitable extinction of the human species be affirmed as a good, in spite of how daunting and uncanny this act might be. This affirmation is called for as humans struggle to find an ethical response appropriate to their creaturely existence, as well as to their devastating complicity in a historical and geological moment of mass species extinction.