Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:

Displaying: 1-14 of 14 documents

1. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Philip Cafaro

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Though best known as a literary figure, Henry Thoreau showed a lasting interest in science. He read widely in the scientific literature of his day and published one the first scholarly discussions on forest succession. In fact, some historians rate Thoreau as one of the founders of the modern science of ecology. At the same time, Thoreau often lamented science’s tendency to kill poetry. Scientific writings coupled with his own careful observations often revealed life to him, but in other ways rendered nature lifeless. Modern-day Thoreauvians are also aware that science has largely become a tool for control and increased consumption, rather than for the appreciation and protection of wild nature. This paper explores some of Thoreau’s reflections on science and "system," and presents his view of the proper role of science in our lives. As will become clear, Thoreau’s worries are occasioned by his own scientific endeavors. His responses to science’s insufficiencies are reformist, suggesting ways to improve and supplement science rather than discard it.

2. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Józef M. Dolêga

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper contains a synthesized profile of sozology and ecophilosophy, sciences of the end of the 20th century. Sozology is defined as the science of the systematic protection of the biosphere from the destructive effects on it from the anthroposphere. On the other hand, ecophilosophy is understood as the science whose object of study is the essence and nature of the socio-natural environment, its quantitative and qualitative properties and the causal dependence between the anthroposphere and biosphere. I hope that both these sciences will enter permanently into the world’s educational systems in the 21st century.

3. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Susan Feldman

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Karen Warren presents and defends the ecofeminist position that people are wrong in dominating nature as a whole or in part (individual animals, species, ecosystems, mountains), for the same reason that subordinating women to the will and purposes of men is wrong. She claims that all feminists must object to both types of domination because both are expressions of the same "logic of domination." Yet, problems arise with her claim of twin dominations. The enlightenment tradition gave rise to influential versions of feminism and provided a framework which explains the wrongness of the domination of women by men as a form of injustice. Yet on this account, the domination of nature cannot be assimilated to the domination of women. Worse, on the enlightenment framework, the claim that the domination of nature is wrong in the same way that the domination of women is wrong makes no sense, since (according to this framework) domination can only be considered to be unjust when the object dominated has a will. While ecofeminism rejects the enlightenment view, it cannot simply write off enlightenment feminism as non-feminist. It must show that enlightenment feminism is either inauthentic or conceptually unstable.

4. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Jason Kawall

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
It is commonplace to call for the protection of environmental diversity. I develop an often overlooked reason for preserving diversity: we should preserve diversity in order to preserve the unusual. I show that we do in fact value the unusual, and that we should value the unusual (pace Rolston and Russow). Recognizing the value of the unusual provides a foundation for valuing species not otherwise considered valuable.

5. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
David R. Keller

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
To what extent does Hans-Georg Gadamer’s theory of science provide a basis for the articulation of an ecological hermeneutics? As "hermeneutics" is the art of interpretation and understanding, "ecological hermeneutics" is understood as the act of interpreting the impact of technology within the lifeworld. I consider the potential for ecological hermeneutics based upon Gadamer’s theory of science. First, I outline his theory of science. Second, I delineate ecological hermeneutics as an application of this theory. Third, I discuss what can be expected from the act of ecological hermeneutics. Finally, I make some general comments about the affinity between ecological hermeneutics and brute common-sense.

6. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Roger J.H. King

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I explore the concept of literacy and the role it might play in environmental ethics. One of the goals of environmental ethics is to describe and contribute to the creation of an ecologically responsible culture. The creation of such a culture requires the development of knowledge and abilities that will help sustain such a culture. Since education is one of the key institutions for instilling values and world views, it is important for environmental philosophers to think about the institutionalization of environmental theories in terms of their implications for the environmentally literate person. I argue that attention to literacy is significant for two reasons. First, it provides one way of evaluating the differences between competing environmental philosophies. Second, it raises the important question of what kind of person is required to carry out a particular vision of environmental responsibility. By addressing the issue of education and literacy, philosophers interested in environmental ethics can help create a vision of citizens who have democratically internalized and integrated environmental values and priorities rather than having them imposed from above.

7. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Erazim Kohak

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The term "nature myths" designates narratives presenting whatis as intelligible in terms of value and meaning. Such narratives function to motivate ecological activism by articulating such presuppositions as the conviction that what we do matters, destruction of nature is intrinsically wrong, and the possibility of nondestructive human beings. However, such narratives motivate only if they are regarded in some sense as true. The question is, in what sense? Not in an objectivist sense (e.g. von Ranke), since value-even if intrinsic-is a subject related reality. Not in an idealist sense (e.g. Cassirer), since they respect the autonomy of reality. Nor in a "depth" sense of expressing an alleged "essential condition of guilt" (e.g. Heidegger and Patocka), since this would remain a positivist description, albeit one level removed. Instead, I propose treating nature myths as orienting the world (e.g. Jaspers) and guiding human components therein. As such, nature myths can be said to be true (as in Ricoeur’s "adamic" myth) or false (as in the myth of "Man the Master") inasmuch as they provide or fail to provide adequate guidance for sustainable coexistence with all of the Earth.

8. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Ricardo Rozzi

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Ecologists formulate their scientific theories influenced by ethical values, and in turn, environmental ethicists value nature based on scientific theories. Darwinian evolutionary theory provides clear examples of these complex links, illustrating how these reciprocal relationships do not constitute a closed system, but are undetermined and open to the influences of two broader worlds: the sociocultural and the natural environment. On the one hand, the Darwinian conception of a common evolutionary origin and ecological connectedness has promoted a respect for all forms of life. On the other hand, the metaphors of struggle for existence and natural selection appear as problematic because they foist onto nature the Hobbesian model of a liberal state, a Malthusian model of the economy, and the productive practice of artificial selection, all of which reaffirm modern individualism and the profit motive that are at the roots of our current environmental crisis. These metaphors were included in the original definitions of ecology and environmental ethics by Haeckel and Leopold respectively, and are still pervasive among both ecologists and ethicists. To suppose that these Darwinian notions, derived from a modern-liberal worldview, are a fact of nature constitutes a misleading interpretation. Such supposition represents a serious impediment to our aim of transforming our relationship with the natural world in order to overcome the environmental crisis. To achieve a radical transformation in environmental ethics, we need a new vision of nature.

9. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Irina Shirkova-Tuuli

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I want to discuss some problematic issues in contemporary philosophical thought concerning the environment that I consider to be "pessimistic." I state the necessity of finding a new, active and stimulating position regarding the ecological situation that will help to initiate and support a positive outcome. I call such a position Ecological Optimism. I also discuss the scientific and philosophical groundwork underlying this position and develop a brief plan for its implementation.

10. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Chelsea H. Snelgrove

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper evaluates some philosophical views regarding the self who is an ethical deliberator and agent-specifically the traditional atomistic individualist self and the expanded biocentric self of deep ecology. The paper then presents an alternative manner of thinking about the ethical self which avoids some of the philosophical difficulties of the foregoing views. This alternative draws on the recent work by Val Plumwood and Donna Haraway. Haraway's cyborg identity is a kind of self-in-relation (Plumwood's term) which allows for ethical deliberations that take relations with others seriously without losing individuality in problematic holism (as deep ecology does). Self-in-relation is defined by the relation of intentional inclusion. This relation is given a functionalist, non-mentalistic interpretation. The notions of ontological foresight and moral foresight are introduced to enable determinations of moral responsibility without falling back into the problematic universalism which otherwise results from the functionalist view of cyborg self-in-relation.

11. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Wieslaw Sztumski

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Es sind hier Grundrisse einer Art Umweltphilosophie (des Environmentalismus), des ökologischen Denkstils und des adäquaten Humanismus vorgelegt. Diese Konzeptionen setzen sich zusammen auf eine neue philosophische Strömung, die in der Zukunft zur Zivilisation des Lebens und zur Beseitigung der Gefahr für das Überstehen der Menschheit führen kann. Für ihren Aufbau ist es nötig das rationalistisch-szientistische Bewubtsein der Westkultur radikel zu umgestalten, um es den neuen historischen Anforderungen anzupassen. Erst auf Grund des neuen Bewubtseins und der neuen Philosophie kann ein Erziehungssystem entstehen, in das die nächste Generationen aufwachsen, die der neuen Forderung-das Sichern des Überstehens der Menschheit und des Lebens im allgemeinen auf der Erde-gerecht werden.

12. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
David Waller

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I propose to answer the age-old reductio against vegetarianism, which is usually presented in the form of a sarcastic question (e.g., "How do you justify killing and eating plants?"). Addressing the question takes on special significance in the light of arguments which seem to show that even nonsentient life is intrinsically valuable. Thus, I suggest that we rephrase the question in the following manner: When beings (who are biological and thus dependent on the destruction of other forms of life in order to sustain their own) evolve into societies of moral agents are they entitled merely to assume that they retain their license to destroy other life in order to sustain their own? I answer in the negative. I argue that such societies must continually earn that right by engaging in activity that makes up for and augments the values that they destroy. Unlike other biological beings, humans have complete control over what they eat, whether they eat, and whether they reproduce. Hence, the appeals to necessity that are ubiquitous in justifications of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets are inauthentic and must be accordingly forsaken. We will have to appeal instead to the value of particular human activities that are fueled by our consumption of other lives.

13. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Karen J. Warren

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Environmental philosophers, policy-makers and community activists who discuss environmental justice do so almost exclusively in terms of mainstream Western distributive models of social justice. Whether the issue is treatment of animals, human health or property, wilderness and species preservation, pollution or environmental degradation, the prevailing and largely unchallenged view is that the issues of environmental justice are for the most part distributive issues. I think this wholesale framing of considerations of environmental justice solely in terms of distribution is seriously flawed. Drawing on both ecofeminist insights into the inextricable interconnections between institutions of domination and Iris Young’s work on the inadequacy of distributive models of social justice, I argue for the twofold claim that a distributive model of environmental justice is inadequate and that what is needed is an additional nondistributive model to supplement, complement and — in some cases — take precedence over a distributive model.

14. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 22
Jack Weir

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Cases have been widely used in medical ethics and law. In both fields, numerous books and articles about cases have appeared, including book-length catalogs of cases. I argue that pluralistic casuistry provides an adequate approach to environmental ethics. It retains the strengths while avoiding the weaknesses of the other approaches. Importantly, it resolves some broader theoretical issues and provides a clear, explicit methodology for education and praxis.