Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics


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Introduction

All environmental studies should include an assessment of the intrinsic value of non-human beings. Despite the variety of positions in EE, they have focused mainly on issues concerned with wilderness and the reasons for its preservation 14 — The importance of wilderness experience to the human psyche has been emphasized by many environmental philosophers. Some encourage us to spend time dwelling in situations of intrinsic value Likewise, the critical theorists believe that aesthetic appreciation of nature has the power to re-enchant human life Rolston seeks re-creation of the human soul by meditating in the wilderness 19 , The questioning and rethinking of the relationship of human beings with the natural environment over the last thirty years reflected an already widespread perception in the s that the late twentieth century faced a serious environmental crisis.

National and international science academies and professional societies have assessed the current scientific opinion on climate change CC. There is new and stronger evidence that most of the changes observed over the last 50 years are attributable to human activities Scientific consensus is that the increase in environmental crises observed since the start of the industrial era 22 , CC is the most serious problem we face in 21st century.

Air pollutants, which had stood at the safe baseline for 10, years, were today having caused global temperatures to increase, sea levels to rise several centimeters, dry areas to become even drier and wet areas to get still wetter The predicted effects of CC on the environment and for human life are numerous and varied. Drought, changing weather patterns, the expected burden of caring for environmental refugees, the effects of consumerism, and the health decline associated with various forms of pollution are continuing and major problems for human beings themselves 25 — 27 , and raise crucial issues about environmental justice At the same time, the continuing destruction of natural environments and the widespread loss of both plant and animal species pose increasing problems for other forms of life on the planet.

Climate instability portend ill for public health and well-being. CC encompasses temperature changes on global, regional and local scales, and changes in the rainfall, winds, and possibly ocean currents Any deliberate attempt to reach a rational and enduring state of equilibrium by planned measures, rather than by chance or catastrophe, must ultimately be founded on a basic change of values and goals at individual, national and world levels The call for a basic change of values in connection to the environment a call that could be interpreted in terms of either instrumental or intrinsic values reflected a need for the development of EE as a new sub-discipline of philosophy, therefore, the field emerged in the early s, when environmentalists and philosophers began to consider the philosophical aspects of environmental problems and EE became a subject of sustained academic philosophic reflection.

Holmes Rolston III - Wikipedia

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

The land as a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected as an extension of ethics 31 — New evidence of environment change suggests it could be serious, and the greatest danger that civilization has faced so far. It is a warning of worse to come Resistance and resilience strategies to unavoidable impacts can be built into development planning and policies 36 , Increases in catastrophes resulting from extreme weather are mainly caused by increasing population densities, and anticipated future increases are similarly dominated by societal change rather than CC In this way, to protect our environment and consequently our well-being, EE came to focus on the possibility of the identification of the human ego with nature.

The idea is, briefly, that by identifying with nature I can enlarge the boundaries of the self beyond my skin. To respect and to care for my Self is also to respect and to care for the natural environment, which is actually part of me and with which I should identify.

Interdisciplinary approaches link EE with biology, policy studies, public administration, political theory, cultural history, post-colonial theory, literature, geography, and human ecology 41 — The academic field of EE developed when philosophers started considering the philosophical aspects of environmental problems. EE became a subject of sustained academic philosophic reflection in the s.


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From anthropocentric view we tend to evaluate things wrongly in terms of their usefulness to further us, that humans are at the center of reality, and it is right for them to be so. EE discovers that everything has a unique value and that the nonhuman environment as well as human has intrinsic value. No single discipline could claim sole ownership of those quandaries we now face about the origins of modern environmental crisis and the relation between environmental problems and social injustice, and that how human beings should relate to the natural environment regarding to happiness and well-being.

In facing these problems, there will likely be great opportunities for co-operation and synergy between philosophers and both natural and social scientists. Finally, a person with day-to-day nonanthropocentric thinking acts more benignly towards the nonhuman environment on which his or her well-being depends.

Philosophy gone wild: Essays in environmental ethics

This would provide reason for encouraging non-anthropocentric thinking. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Med Ethics Hist Med. Marjan Laal. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received May 16; Accepted May This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 3.

Abstract Environmental ethics has emerged during the early s, when environmentalists started urging philosophers to consider the philosophical aspects of environmental problems.


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Keywords: Ethics, Environment, Health, Crises. Introduction Enviroethics or environmental ethics EE is a part of environmental philosophy that extends the traditional boundaries of ethics from only including humans to including the non-human world. Purpose This paper attempts to apply traditional ethical theories to support environmental concerns.

Holmes Rolston III

Material and Methods Data for this article is based on scientific consensus among various theories and theses for the field and surveys opinion of environmentalists via search by the keywords as: environment, ethics and crises. Inclusion and exclusion criteria: Data entry contained the common agreement between environmentalists.

Philosophy gone wild : environmental ethics

Results Although nature was the focus of much nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, contemporary EE only emerged as an academic discipline in the s 4. Discussion The questioning and rethinking of the relationship of human beings with the natural environment over the last thirty years reflected an already widespread perception in the s that the late twentieth century faced a serious environmental crisis.

Conclusion The academic field of EE developed when philosophers started considering the philosophical aspects of environmental problems. References 1. Anonymous Environmental ethics. Brennan A. Because the book consists of essays, it need not be read sequentially, chapter by chapter.


  • A Brief History of Enviroethics and Its Challenges!
  • Environmental Ethics: Year Index.
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Highly appropriate for ecology as a supplement and philosophy courses, as well as courses dealing with environmental law and policy-making. All college libraries should have a copy. Kricher, Wheaton College, Mass. This item was reviewed in:. To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.

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Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics
Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics
Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics
Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics
Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics
Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics Philosophy Gone Wild: Environmental Ethics

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