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The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 1999

Ethics

Robin Attfield
Pages 159-168

Depth, Trusteeship, and Redistribution

I review some themes of Naess’s “The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movements” article and Routley’s “Is there a Need for a New, An Environmental Ethic?” presentation at the 1973 World Congress. Naess’s affiliation to the Deep Ecology Movement deserves acclaim, theoretic entanglements notwithstanding. Routley advocated a new ethic because no Judaeo-Christian ethical tradition could cope with widespread environmental intuitions. However, the ethical tradition of stewardship can satisfy such concerns. It is compatible with environmental values, need not be managerial, and can assume a secular form. But the related res- ponsibilities vary with wealth and power, and structural change is necessary to empower people currently unable to uphold it.

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