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81. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4

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82. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 4

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83. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3

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articles

84. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Nicholas Geiser Orcid-ID

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Three recent developments in environmental ethics—interest in virtue and character, concern for psychological realism, and collective action required to address global ecological challenges—are in tension with one another. For example, virtue ethical approaches in environmental ethics face objections from “situationist” critique and the strategic dimensions of collective action. This article proposes a conception of reciprocity as a response to this challenge for environmental virtue ethics. Environmental ethics has been traditionally skeptical of reciprocity due to its associations with self-interest, instrumental rationality, and well-defined contractual interactions. However, reciprocity can also be understood as a moral disposition of social agents who wish to respond proportionately and fittingly to the benefits they receive from others. Reciprocity is a psychologically robust moral disposition appropriate to contexts of strategic interaction underlying a variety of conservation and common pool resource challenges. As an environmental virtue, reciprocity’s example demonstrates that environmental virtue ethics need not give up psychological realism or concern with collective action.
85. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Corsa

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John Cage and Henry David Thoreau draw attention to the indeterminacy of wild nature and imply humans cannot entirely control the natural world. This paper argues Cage and Thoreau each encourages his audience to recognize their own human limitations in relation to wildness, and thus each helps his audience to develop greater humility before nature. By reflecting on how Thoreau’s theory relates to Cage’s music, we can recognize how Cage’s music contributes to audiences’ environmental moral education. We can appreciate the role of music in helping audiences to develop values conducive to environmentally sustainable practices.
86. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Matthew Crippen Orcid-ID

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Ubuntu originated in small-scale societies in precolonial Africa. It stresses metaphysical and moral interconnectedness of humans, and newer Africapitalist approaches absorb ubuntu ideology, with the aims of promoting community wellbeing and restoring a love of local place that global free trade has eroded. Ecological degradation violates these goals, which ought to translate into care for the nonhuman world, in addition to which some sub-Saharan thought systems promote environmental concern as a value in its own right. The foregoing story is reinforced by field research on African hunting operations that appear—counterintuitively—to reconcile conservation with business imperatives and local community interests. Though acknowledging shortcomings, I maintain these hunting enterprises do, by and large, adopt Africapitalist and ubuntu attitudes to enhance community wellbeing, environmental sustainability, and long-term economic viability. I also examine how well-intentioned Western conservation agendas are neocolonial impositions that impede local control while exacerbating environmental destruction and socioeconomic hardship. Ubuntu offers a conciliatory epistemology, which Africapitalism incorporates, and I conclude by considering how standard moral theories and political divisions become less antagonistic within these sub-Saharan frameworks, so even opponents can find common cause.
87. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Manuel Rodeiro

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According to an environmental application of Rawlsian principles of justice, the well-ordered society cannot tolerate the perpetration of certain environmental harms. This paper gives an account of those harms committed in the form of ecocide. The concept of ecocide is developed, as well as the ideal of eco-relational pluralism, as conceptual tools for defending citizens’ environmental interests. This paper aims to identify persuasive and reasonably acceptable justice claims for compelling states to curtail environmentally destructive activities through recourse to principles firmly established in the liberal tradition, while simultaneously exploring the limitations of such an approach.

book reviews

88. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Michael Paul Nelson

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89. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Bjørn Kristensen

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90. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 3
Samantha Noll

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91. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2

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articles

92. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Benjamin Hole Orcid-ID

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Radical virtue serves two distinct purposes: consolation in unfavorable circumstances, and prescription to achieve better ones. This paper maps out the theoretical nuances important for practical guidance. For a Stoic, radical virtue is a way to live well through environmental tragedy. For a consequentialist, it is an instrument to motivate us to combat climate change. For an Aristotelian, it is both. I argue that an Aristotelian approach fares the best, balancing the aim of external success with the aim of living well through practical wisdom. This involves criticizing assumptions about living well that underlie behaviors that contribute to climate change. Some might object virtue theory suffers from application problems, and an Aristotelian approach suffers even more because it does not tell the virtuous person how to negotiate her aims. In response, Aristotelian revision starts with moral perception that adds valuable content by navigating through the messiness.
93. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Jorge Torres Orcid-ID

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Plato’s ideas on the value of nature and humankind are reconsidered. The traditional suggestion that his thought is ethically anthropocentric is rejected. Instead “Ethical Ratiocentrism” (ER) is the environmental worldview found in the dialogues. According to ER, human life is not intrinsically valuable, but only rational life is. ER is consistent with Plato’s holistic axiological outlook but incompatible with ethical anthropocentrism.
94. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Katharine Wolfe

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The care ethics tradition has long argued for the merits of understanding the self as relational. Inspired by this tradition, but also by ecofeminist philosophies that insist on the need to consider our wider ecological and interspecies connections, this paper focuses on the relational elements of breast/chestfeeding (most frequently referred to as ‘nursing’ for gender-neutrality) and their ethical implications. I show nursing to be an act that not only 1) connects us to one another through bonds of nourishment and care but also 2) reconnects us to our animal selves and enlivens connections to non-human animals. Moreover, I argue that nursing 3) exposes our entwinement in a web of ecological relationships through which the toxic harm we have wrought on our environment returns to us. To draw out the ethical implications of these connections, I introduce the concept of ‘relational vulnerabilities.’ Relational vulnerabilities are forged through our connections to others, be they bonds of dependence and need, historical harm and ongoing violence, love and joy, or all at once. I contend that all relational vulnerabilities call for ethical attention, yet, when it comes to nursing, these vulnerabilities are often neglected or, worse, made the targets of heinous abuse.
95. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Rafael Rodrigues Pereira Orcid-ID

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This article aims to question the value of impartiality in environmental ethics by highlighting a problem internal to the bioethics approach known as sentiocentrism. The principle that all beings with the same degree of consciousness should receive the same moral treatment would lead to a trilemma, i.e., the need to choose among three morally unacceptable choices. I argue those problems are related to the premise, shared by Utilitarianism and rights-centered theories, that impartiality is the constitutive feature of the moral point of view. In the last part of my article, I discuss how this problem points to some advantages of a virtue ethics approach to environmental ethics.

book reviews

96. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Eileen Crist

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97. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 2
Nathan Kowalsky

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98. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1

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features

99. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Dan Shahar

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Climate change is already a major global threat, but many of its worst impacts are still decades away. Many people who will eventually be affected by it still have opportunities to mitigate harm. When considering the avoidable burdens of climate change, it seems plausible victims will often share some responsibility for putting themselves into (or failing to get out of) harm’s way. This fact should be incorporated into our thinking about the ethical significance of climate-induced harms, particularly to emphasize the importance of differential abilities to get and stay out of harm’s way. Currently, many people face serious obstacles to reducing their vulnerability to climate change, such as poverty, lack of education, and political or legal obstacles to mobility. Climate policy discussions should do more to emphasize the alleviation of these sources of difficulties, thereby empowering people to choose what risks they will bear in a warming world.
100. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 43 > Issue: 1
Christopher Preston, Orcid-ID Trine Antonsen Orcid-ID

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New techniques for modifying the genomes of agricultural organisms create difficult ethical challenges. We provide a novel framework to replace worn-out ethical lenses relying on ‘naturalness’ and ‘crossing species lines.’ Thinking of agricultural intervention as a ‘negotiation’ of ‘integrity’ and ‘agency’ provides a flexible framework for considering techniques such as genome editing with CRISPR/Cas systems. We lay out the framework by highlighting some existing uses of integrity in environmental ethics. We also provide an example of our lens at work by looking at the creation of ‘cisgenic’ (as opposed to ‘transgenic’) potatoes to resist late potato blight. We conclude by highlighting three distinct advantages offered by the integrity framework. These include a more fitting way to look at the practice of scientific researchers, a more inclusive way to consider ethics around agriculture, and a more flexible way to provide the ethical grounds for regulation in different cultural contexts.