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1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
A. Dionys de Leeuw Contemplating the Interests of Fish: The Angler’s Challenge
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I examine the morality of sport fishing by focusing on the respect that anglers show for the interests of fish compared to the respect that hunters show for their game. Angling is a form of hunting because of the strong link between these two activities in literature, in management, and in the individual’s participation in both angling and hunting, and in the similarity of both activities during the process of pursuing an animal in order to control it. Fish are similar in many ways to animals that are hunted, including their interests in survival and in avoiding pain. These interests need to be considered by anglers for moral reasons. All hunters and anglers value their sport with animals more than they respect the lives of animals they pursue. Hunters are, therefore, similar to anglers in the respect that they show for the survival interests of their game animals. Hunters, however, are significantly different from anglers in the respect that they show for an animal’s interest in avoiding pain and suffering. While hunters make every effort to reduce pain and suffering in their game animals, anglers purposefully inflict these conditions on fish. These similarities and differences have three important consequences: (1) The moral argument justifying the killing of animals for sport in hunting must apply to all of angling as well. (2) Angling, unlike hunting, requires a second justification for the intentional infliction of avoidable pain and suffering in fish. (3) If ethical hunters hold true to their principle of avoiding all suffering in the animals that they pursue, then hunters must reject all sports fishing.
2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Frederik Kaufman Callicott on Native American Attitudes
3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
Francisco Benzoni Rolston’s Theological Ethic
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The centerpiece of Holmes Rolston, III’s environmental ethic is his objective value theory. It is ultimately grounded not in the Cartesian duality between subject and object, but in the divine. It is not his value theory, but rather his anthropology that is the weak link in an ethic in which he attempts to weave together the natural, human, and divine spheres. With a richer, more fully developed theological anthropology, Rolston could more deeply penetrate and critique those aspects of the present ways of being-in-the-world that are environmentally destructive.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 18 > Issue: 4
J. Baird Callicott American Indian Land Ethics
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Bryan G. Norton Convergence and Contextualism: Some Clarifications and a Reply to Steverson
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The convergence hypothesis asserts that, if one takes the full range of human values—present and future—into account, one will choose a set of policies that can also be accepted by an advocate of a consistent and reasonable nonanthropocentrism. Brian Steverson has attacked this hypothesis from a surprising direction. He attributes to deep ecologists the position that nonhuman nature has intrinsic value, interprets this position to mean that no species could ever be allowed to go extinct, and proceeds to show that my commitment to contextualism prohibits me from advocating the protection of species universally. In response, I show, by reference to recent scientific findings, how difficult it is to defend species preservation in all situations. In particular, I argue that Steverson’s appeal to a possible world in which we have nearly complete biological knowledge misses the point of the convergence hypothesis. It is an empirical hypothesis, with significant indirect, and some direct, evidence to support it. Although it is a falsifiable hypothesis about realworld policies, it cannot be falsified by a contrary-to-fact case.
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Greta Gaard Orcid-ID Ecofeminism and Wilderness
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I argue that ecofeminism must be concerned with the preservation and expansion of wilderness on the grounds that wilderness is an Other to the Self of Western culture and the master identity and that ecofeminism is concerned with the liberation of all subordinated Others. I suggest replacing the master identity with an ecofeminist ecological self, an identity defined through interdependence with Others, and I argue for the necessity of restoring and valuing human relationships with the Other of wilderness as integral to the construction and maintenance of an ecofeminist ecological self. I conclude that ecofeminists must be concerned with the redefinition, preservation, and expansion of wilderness.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Harold Glasser On Warwick Fox’s Assessment of Deep Ecology
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I examine Fox’s tripartite characterization of deep ecology. His assessment abandons Naess’s emphasis upon the pluralism of ultimate norms by distilling what I refer to as the deep ecology approach to “Self-realization!” Contrary to Fox, I argue that his popular sense is distinctive and his formal sense is tenable. Fox’s philosophical sense, while distinctive, is neither necessary nor sufficient to adequately characterize the deep ecology approach. I contend that the deep ecology approach, as a formal approach to environmental philosophy, is not dependent upon and embodies much more than any single ultimate norm. I discuss how Naess’s deep ecology approach supports a wide diversity of ultimate norms. The only stipulation placed upon ultimate norms, to make them deep ecological ultimate norms, is that the so called deep ecology platform be derivable from them. The deep ecology approach is distinguished, in part, through its focus on diminishing environmentally degrading practices and policies by addressing root causes and by highlighting pseudo-conflicts. I present an interpretation of the deep ecology approach that hightlights Naess’s emphasis upon assisting individuals to arrive at thoroughly reasoned, consistent, and ecologically sound concrete decisions by supporting them in the articulation of their own personal ecological total views (ecosophies).
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Rick O’Neil Intrinsic Value, Moral Standing, and Species
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Environmental philosophers often conflate the concepts of intrinsic value and moral standing. As a result, individualists needlessly deny intrinsic value to species, while holists falsely attribute moral standing to species. Conceived either as classes or as historical individuals, at least some species possess intrinsic value. Nevertheless, even if a species has interests or a good of its own, it cannot have moral standing because species lack sentience. Although there is a basis for duties toward some species (in terms of their intrinsic value), it is not the one that the holists claim.
9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Brian Luke A Critical Analysis of Hunters’ Ethics
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I analyze the “Sportsman’s Code,” arguing that several of its rules presuppose a respect for animals that renders hunting a prima facie wrong. I summarize the main arguments used to justify hunting and consider them in relation to the prima facie case against hunting entailed by the sportsman’s code. Sport hunters, I argue, are in a paradoxical position—the more conscientiously they follow the code, themore strongly their behavior exemplifies a respect for animals that undermines the possibilities of justifying hunting altogether. I consider several responses, including embracing the paradox, renouncing the code, and renouncing hunting.
10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Bill Shaw A Virtue Ethics Approach to Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic
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I examine “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold from a virtue ethics perspective. Following Leopold, I posit the “good” as the “integrity, stability, and beauty” of biotic communities and then develop “land virtues” that foster this good. I recommend and defend three land virtues: respect (or ecological sensitivity), prudence, and practical judgment.
11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 3
Yeuk-Sze Lo Natural and Artifactual: Restored Nature as Subject
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It has been argued that human restoration of nature is morally problematic because artificially restored natural entities are artifacts, which are ontologically different from natural entities and hence essentially devoid of the moral standing that natural entities have. I discuss the alleged assimilation of restored natural entities to artifacts, and argue that it does not follow from the ontological differences, if any, between the artifactual and the natural that the former is morally inferior to the latter. This defense against the devaluation of restored natural entities is aimed at narrowing the ethical gap between the wild and thetamed, which is often endorsed by ecocentric environmental ethics.
12. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 3
Sandy Marie Anglás Grande Beyond the Ecologically Noble Savage: Deconstructing the White Man’s Indian
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I examine the implications of stereotyping and its intersections with the political realities facing American Indian communities. Specifically, I examine the typification of Indian as ecologically noble savage, as both employed and refuted by environmentalists, through the lenses of cognitive and social psychological perspectives and then bring it within the context of a broader cultural critique. I argue that the noble savage stereotype, often used to promote the environmentalist agenda is nonetheless immersed in the political and ideological parameters of the modern project. Finally, I reassert the right and, more importantly, the authority of Native American peoples to ultimately define for themselves their respective identities and destinies.
13. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 3
Jill LeBlanc Eco-Thomism
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St. Thomas Aquinas is generally seen as having an anthropocentric and instrumentalist view of nature, in which the rational human is the point of the universe for which all else was created. I argue that, to the contrary, his metaphysics is consistent with a holistic ecophilosophy. His views that natural things have intrinsic value and that the world is an organic unity in which diversity is itself a value requiringrespect for being and life in all their manifestations.
14. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 3
Jack C. Swearengen Brownfields and Greenfields: An Ethical Perspective on Land Use
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America’s industries and families continue to forsake cities for suburban and rural environs, in the process leaving nonproductive lands (brownfields) and simultaneously removing greenfield land from agriculturally or biologically productive use. In spite of noteworthy exceptions, urban regions which once functioned as vital communities continue in economic and social decline. Discussion or debate about the problem (or, indeed, whether it is a problem at all) invokes systems of values which often are not articulated. Some attribute the urban exodus to departure from personal ethical norms (e.g., substance abuse, violence, welfare addiction) by urban residents, as though ethical decline is driving the phenomenon. Others take the exact opposite stance, that social and economic decline follow the departure of the economic base. There is no consensus on what government should do about the problem, or whether government should be involved at all. I present elements of a land-use ethic which can accommodate the foregoing. I argue that government is already involved in the brownfields problem because urban flight is facilitated by public policies which de facto subsidize the process. I further argue that the debate invokes key—but unexamined—assumptions regarding limits. Where there are few substitutes for resources and the social cost of exploitation is high, government intervention in the market is necessary; “value-free” economic approaches need to be supplemented by values concerning what ought to be, i.e., what is desirable for society.
15. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 3
John Patterson Environmental Mana
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In Maori tradition, all creatures are naturally sacred or tapu, and cannot be used without ritual removal of the tapu, a symbolic acknowledgment of the mana of the gods concerned. Although there is a religious dimension to tapu, it is also the natural state of all creatures, reflecting the idea that they have intrinsic worth. The theist aspect of tapu can be bypassed: tapu is the mana of the atua or gods, whocan be seen as personifications of or indeed identical with areas of the natural world. In this way, the mana of the gods is seen as the mana of nature itself, and respect for the tapu of a creature turns out quite like the familiar idea of respect for its intrinsic value or its ecological value. We might conclude that the environmental mana of the human species is currently negative, and this conclusion in turn might persuade us to change our ways.
16. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 21 > Issue: 3
Robert Sparrow The Ethics of Terraforming
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I apply an agent-based virtue ethics to issues in environmental philosophy regarding our treatment of complex inorganic systems. I consider the ethics of terraforming: hypothetical planetary engineering on a vast scale which is aimed at producing habitable environments on otherwise “hostile” planets. I argue that the undertaking of such a project demonstrates at least two serious defects of moral character: an aesthetic insensitivity and the sin of hubris. Trying to change whole planets to suit our ends is arrogant vandalism. I maintain that these descriptions of character are coherent and important ethical concepts. Finally, I demonstrate how the arguments developed in opposition to terraforming, a somewhat farfetched example, can be used in cases closer to home to provide arguments against our use of recombinantDNA technologies and against the construction of tourist developments in wilderness areas.
17. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Philip Ryan Gare, MacIntyre, and Tradition
18. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Shari Collins-Chobanian Beyond Sax and Welfare Interests
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In “The Search for Environmental Rights,” Joseph Sax argues that each individual should have, as a right, freedom from environmental hazards and access to environmental benefits, but he makes clear that environmental rights do not exist and their recognition would truly be a novel step. Sax states that environmental rights are different from existing human rights and argues that the closest analogy is welfare interests. In arguing for environmental rights, I follow Sax’s direction and draw from the work of those who are the most relevant in establishing environmental rights. I consider Joel Feinberg’s notion of welfare interests, Henry Shue’s notion of basic rights, and James Nickel’s right to a safe environment. I draw from Mill’s harm principle, the superfund legislation, and the Clean Air Act to illustrate the existing ethical and legal bases for establishing environmental rights. Finally, I discuss positive and negative duties that such rights might carry
19. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Amy L. Goff-Yates Karen Warren and the Logic of Domination: A Defense
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Karen Warren claims that there is a “logic of domination” at work in the oppressive conceptual frameworks informing both sexism and naturism. Although her account of the principle of domination as a connection between oppressions has been an influential one in ecofeminist theory, it has been challenged by recent criticism. Both Karen Green and John Andrews maintain that the principle of domination,as Warren articulates it, is ambiguous. The principle, according to Green, admits of two possible readings, each of which she finds flawed. Similarly, Andrews claims that the principle is fundamentally inadequate because it cannot distinguish cases of oppressive domination from cases of nonoppressive domination. In this paper, I elucidate Warren’s views and defend her against these and other criticisms put forward by Green and Andrews. I show that Warren’s account of “the logic of domination” successfully illuminates important conceptual features of oppression.
20. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Rick O’Neil Animal Liberation versus Environmentalism
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Animal liberationism and environmentalism generally are considered incompatible positions. But, properly conceived, they simply provide answers to different questions, concerning moral standing and intrinsic value, respectively. The two views together constitute an environmental ethic that combines environmental justice and environmental care. I show that this approach is not only consistent but defensible.