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Social Philosophy Today

Volume 19, 2003

Environmental Philosophy as Social Philosophy

Roger J. H. King
Pages 41-53
DOI: 10.5840/socphiltoday2003192

The Place of Domesticated Spaces in Environmental Ethics
Toward an Environmentally Responsible Culture

Environmental ethics has traditionally focused on a defense of the intrinsic value of animals and wild habitats. However, this ethical project needs to be supplemented by a consideration of the kind of culture that can take such an ethical point of view seriously. This essay argues that one component of an environmentally responsible culture is its domesticated environment. How we construct the domesticated environment has an impact on our perception of our own identities and our relations to wild nature. If we care about wild nature, we must also care about the domesticated environment in which we live our lives. This essay contributes to an ethical reflection on the need to overcome the traditional dualism between domesticated and wild, built and natural that permeates environmental ethical thinking.