Volume 11, 2018
Ruth Miller Lucier
Environmental Justice and Global Human Rights
Aspects of Self as Agency for Sustaining the Natural World
This paper begins, in Part I, with a brief discussion of the “objective self” described in John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press, 1971), and Michael J. Sandal’s criticism of it (in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, (Cambridge University Press, 1985) with the purpose of proposing a ‘thickening’ of the concept of Rawls’ “thin (or objective) self” that would make sense of moral obligations and commitments to global environmental stewardship. In part II, a ‘thicker self’ is envisioned as one that incorporates indigenous, earth nurturing, values as essential to its own identity, and that, hence, has properties that promote commitment to environmental preservation. Part III, sets forth the suggestion that philosophers need to construe the human self in a thicker, more environmentally friendly, way than Rawls’s thin self is construed—-namely, in a way that involves the respecting of the wisdom of earth-preserving peoples and cultures, thus allowing the concept self to include awareness of globally focused environmental justice responsibilities.