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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Yasha Rohwer

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Many environmental ethicists think evolutionary processes are good or, put differently, that they are morally valuable. Furthermore, many claim this value can be compromised when humans disrupt or cause a break in these processes. In this paper, I argue this account is mistaken. Evolution is not good. Furthermore, evolution cannot be “broken” by mere human involvement. There is no preordained trajectory in evolution; randomness, genetic drift, and historical contingency influence all evolutionary histories. Additionally, to think humans necessarily undermine so-called “natural” processes and turn them artificial is to ignore Vogel (2011, 2015), and insist on pre-Darwinian dualism. There is no morally meaningful distinction between natural selection and artificial selection; they are both simply selection. Furthermore, animals shape their own evolutionary trajectories, their progenies’, and those of other organisms through their intentions and choices—as is illustrated in the theory of niche construction. Human involvement in evolutionary processes does not “break” them nor does it necessarily reduce the value of the end products of those processes.
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Colin H. Simonds Orcid-ID

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This article considers the possibility of constructing an authentic environmental ethic from Buddhist sources. It first outlines the major critiques of historical Buddhist approaches to the natural world and parses some of the philological and linguistic barriers to such a construction. It then considers some of the recent philosophical critiques of such a project and reviews the major points of tension between the Buddhist philosophical tradition and the kinds of environmental ethics found in the land ethic and deep ecology. Ultimately, this article asserts that such tension is relieved if we begin from Buddhist philosophical principles and construct an environmental ethic from the ground up. It argues a Buddhist environmental ethic emerges from the combination of the goal of liberating all sentient beings from duḥkha, an understanding of duḥkha as dependently arising, and a novel recognition of the environment as a major cause of this duḥkha.
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Corey Katz

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The author argues non-human, sentient animals have aggregation-trumping rights by explaining why and how they should be included in the scope of Kantian contractualism. He explains that the beings to whom we owe duties—who can be wronged by our treatment—are all those with the capacity for first-person, subjective experience; i.e., all sentient beings. To determine what duties we owe to such beings, we should reflect on the principles for the general regulation of behavior that could be hypothetically justified to their imaginary perfectly reasonable counterparts; i.e., even though animals actually cannot understand or reflect on the reasons we have for treating them in a particular way, burdening them unjustifiably is wrong to them. The author argues this inclusive contractualist theory can explain all the distinctive moral phenomena that T. M. Scanlon’s approach does and so is a more attractive contractualist moral theory.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Kalle Grill

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Recently, it has been argued by several scholars that we have moral reasons to limit our procreation due to the harmful environmental consequences it entails. These calls for procreative restraint are typically made in relation to other lifestyle choices, such as minimizing driving and air travel. In such comparisons, it is assumed that the environmental impact of procreation encompasses the lifetime consumption of the child created, and potentially that of further descendants. After an overview of these arguments, I go on to provide an examination of the main benefits of procreation, in relation to those of consumption, i.e., other lifestyle choices. My normative assumption is that benefits hold moral relevance, alongside harms. Procreation may benefit procreators and may provide more collective benefits. Some benefits tend to preempt the environmental impact associated with procreation. I conclude that the benefits of procreation are substantial and typically greater than those of consumption.
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Travis N. Rieder

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Procreative limitarians, according to Kalle Grill, believe that we—especially the globally wealthy—should limit our procreative behaviors in order to reduce our impact on the natural environment. However, according to Grill, limitarians tend not to perform a complete moral analysis of procreating, as they cite the costs without noting the substantial benefits. In particular, Grill argues that procreation has benefits that consumption lacks, which is relevant for deciding where to focus in our efforts to mitigate environmental harms. As one of the limitarians cited by Grill, I think this is an interesting argument to consider, but I will here suggest that it does not succeed in fully responding to the force of the limitarian position.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Philip Cafaro

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The cause of global environmental decline is clear: an immense and rapidly growing human economy. In response, environmentalists should advocate policies leading to fewer people, lower per capita consumption, and less harmful technologies. All three of these must be addressed, not just one instead of the others. That is our best remaining hope to create sustainable societies and preserve what global biodiversity remains. Sharing Earth justly with other species and protecting it for future human generations are achievable goals, but only if we recognize limits to growth, show restraint in both consumption and procreation, replace maximizing thinking with sufficiency thinking, and cultivate gratitude for what we receive from nature. Efficiency cannot take the place of ethics. Cleverness cannot take the place of wisdom. Humanity must learn to recognize and appreciate ‘enough.’

book reviews

7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Megs S. Gendreau

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8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 45 > Issue: 3
Kenneth Shockley

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