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Displaying: 21-40 of 52 documents


features

21. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Juan Pablo Hernández Betancur Orcid-ID

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Despite the fact that their disagreement concerns the most basic metaethical and metaphysical questions regarding our relation to nature, it has become apparent that many anthropocentrists share with nonanthropocentrists a concern for the environment for its own sake, that is to say, a noninstrumental concern for nature. This concern is also present in practical spheres of environmental engagement. With regard to the philosophical task of justifying the claim that we ought to protect nature, this concern imposes on those that share it at least three conditions: priority, independence of future interaction, and universality. Reasonably specified, these conditions are neutral between anthropocentrism and nonanthropocentrism and should be attractive to both camps. Although there are reasons to think it would be difficult to meet all three conditions at the same time, with some modification a promising way to do it becomes apparent.
22. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Simon P. James

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Contrary to what writers such as Hans Jonas and Val Plumwood suggest, much of nature is indifferent to human interests. Mountains, glaciers, sun-baked salt pans—such entities care neither about what interests us humans nor about what is objectively in our interests. It might be hard to see how the property of being indifferent, in this sense, could add value. But it can. For those of us who inhabit highly technological, user-friendly environments, entities such as mountains can have therapeutic value precisely because they so obviously do not care about what matters to us.

discussion papers

23. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Anna Peterson

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Nonhuman animals play various roles in environmental ethics, often as charismatic symbols of wilderness or active participants in the natural dramas we seek to preserve. Sometimes, however, nonhuman animals do not fit into—and may even threaten—the “nature” that we value. There are two especially problematic animals: white-tailed deer and feral cats. Together, these creatures shine light on a number of important issues in environmental ethics, including the tensions between animal welfare and environmentalism, the ways human interests and categories pervade even ecocentric perspectives, and the complex place of science in environmental ethics and advocacy. Thinking through the issues raised by debates about deer and cats can contribute to a more adequate treatment of nonhuman animals in environmental thought and advocacy.
24. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Christopher Cohoon

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In her analyses of human ecological alienation, Val Plumwood implies that the recalcitrant problem of human exceptionalism is sustained in part by a kind of imaginative failure, by a certain blind spot to the ecological edibility of the human body. Among the many assumptions responsible for the blind spot, Plumwood suggests, is the liberal conception of the body as something proprietary, as something one owns. Plumwood’s work therefore establishes a new, if counterintuitive, task for environmental philosophy: to find or create models of human embodiment that do not preempt but rather enable access to edibility. One such model can be found in Emmanuel Levinas’s late concept of the pre-egoic ethical body (“recurrence”). This otherwise elusive and frequently neglected concept ought to be understood as a boldly materialist appropriation of Plotinian emanationism. So understood, it provides a path beyond the blind spot that Plumwood identifies. Taking up Levinas in this way opens a new path for environmental philosophy into his idiosyncratic thought—a path distinct, that is, from the standard extensionist maneuver of seeking nonhuman applications for his ultra-humanist notion of the face.
25. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Espen Dyrnes Stabell

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Existence value refers to the value humans ascribe to the existence of something, regard­less of whether it is or will be of any particular use to them. This existence value based on preference satisfaction should be taken into account in evaluating activities that come with a risk of species extinction. There are two main objections. The first is that on the preference satisfaction interpretation, the concept lacks moral importance because satisfying people’s preferences may involve no good or well-being for them. However, existence value can be based on a restricted version of the preference satisfaction theory, which is not vulnerable to the skeptical arguments about the link between preference satisfaction and well-being. The second objection is that even if preference satisfaction can be linked to well-being, understanding existence value in terms of individual preference satisfaction is incoherent, because existence value reflects disinterested preferences that involve no benefits to the individual. However, the fact that existence value may involve disinterested preferences does not threaten the coherence of the concept, but suggests that it does not fit smoothly into the “utilitarian” or “welfarist” framework it is commonly considered within. A pluralistic normative approach based on prima facie duties can be an alternative to standard utilitarian-style approaches for considering existence value in concrete cases involving a risk of species extinction, such as through deep sea mining.

book reviews

26. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Erik Persson

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27. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Konrad Ott Orcid-ID

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28. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
J. Spencer Atkins

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29. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1

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features

30. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Simon P. James

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In many cases, rivers, mountains, forests, and other so-called natural entities have value for us because they contribute to our well-being. According to the standard model of such value, they have instrumental or “service” value for us on account of their causal powers. That model tends, however, to come up short when applied to cases when nature contributes to our well-being by virtue of the religious, political, historical, personal, or mythic meanings it bears. To make sense of such cases, a new model of nature’s value is needed, one that registers the fact that nature can have constitutive value for us on account of the role it plays in certain meaningful wholes, such as a person’s sense of who he or she is.
31. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Timothy A. Weidel

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In the face of climate change, moral motivation is central: why should individuals feel compelled to act to combat this problem? Justice-based responses miss two morally salient issues: that the key ethical relationship is between us and the environment, and there is something in it for us to act to aid our environment. In support of this thesis there are two seemingly disparate sources: Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si and the early Marx’s account of human essence as species-being. Francis argues we must see nature as an “other” with whom we have a relationship, rather than dominating nature. Marx considers how we currently interact with “others,” and the harms these interactions cause to us. In both contexts, we harm our environment by not acting to meet its needs, and harm ourselves by making it less likely to develop ourselves as more fully human persons. It is the avoidance of these harms that can motivate us to act against climate change.

discussion papers

32. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Laÿna Droz

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The concept of humans as relational individuals living in a milieu can provide some solutions to various obstacles of theorization that are standing in the way of an ethics of sustainability. The idea of a milieu was developed by Tetsuro Watsuji as a web of signification and symbols. It refers to the environment as lived by a subjective relational human being and not as artificially objectified. The milieu can neither be separated from its temporal—or historical—dimension as it is directly related to the “now” of perceptions and actions in the world. In other words, elements of the natural milieu can be said to have a constitutive value as they contribute to our well-being by helping us make sense of our life and our world. In their temporal and relational dimensions, Watsuji’s notions of the milieu and human being are thus directly related to the notion of sustainability. This concept offers some convincing solutions to overcoming the problem of temporal distance, by shifting the center of argumentation from unknown, passive, and biologically dependent not-yet- born people to the transmission of a meaningful historical milieu. The turning point here is that if what matters is the survival of ideal and material projects that people live (and sometimes die) for, then future generations have tremendous power over them, as the actions of those future people will determine the success or failure of the projects started by present generations.
33. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
David Baumeister

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Dipesh Chakrabarty has identified Immanuel Kant’s distinction between the human’s moral and animal dimensions as an underlying source of the failure of the humanities to respond to the ecological crises of the Anthropocene. Although relevant for the environmental humanities generally, Chakrabarty’s critique is especially germane to contemporary environmental philosophy. It shows how the reality of anthropogenic climate change renders central aspects of Kant’s influential conception of human nature untenable. While closer examination of Kant’s writings corroborates the core of Chakrabarty’s reading, there nonetheless remain positive resources in Kant’s philosophy for contemporary environmental thinking, for, although Kant does regard the human’s moral and animal dimensions as conceptually separable, he also understands them to be inextricably bound within the nature of human beings. Attending to the interplay between these Kantian commitments, a new critical insight into one of the basic tensions of the Anthropocene era can be attained.
34. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Magdalena Hoły-Łuczaj

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Environmental philosophy always presents detailed distinctions concerning the kinds of natural beings that can be granted moral considerability, when discussing this issue. In contrast, artifacts, which are excluded from the scope of moral considerability, are treated as one homogenous category. This seems problematic. An attempt to introduce certain distinctions in this regard—by looking into dissimilarities between physical and digital artifacts—can change our thinking about artifacts in ethical terms, or more precisely, in environmentally ethical terms.

book reviews

35. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Byron Williston

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36. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Bjørn Kristensen

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37. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Shane Epting Orcid-ID

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38. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement I

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de los editores invitados

39. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement I
Ricardo Rozzi, Alexandria Poole, Francisca Massardo

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de los organizadores de la conferencia

40. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement I
Luca Valera, Eric Pommier

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