Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 8, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2001

Environmental Virtue Ethics

Jeremy Bendik-Keymer
Pages 149-158

Analogical Extension and Analogical Implication in Environmental Moral Philosophy

Two common claims in environmental moral philosophy are that nature is worthy of respect and that we respect ourselves in respecting nature. In this paper, I articulate two modes of practical reasoning that help make sense of these claims. The first is analogical extension, which understands the respect due human life as the source of a like respect for nature. The second is analogical implication, which involves nature in human life to show us what we are like. These forms of reasoning are relevant to environmental virtue ethics in that both help us conceptualize how respect for nature can be part of our sense of humanity, and not opposed to our sense of humanity.