Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-02-18
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

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What is the environment, and how does it figure in an ethical life? This book is an introduction to the philosophical issues involved in this important question, focussing primarily on ethics but also encompassing questions in aesthetics and political philosophy. Topics discussed include the environment as an ethical question, human morality, meta-ethics, normative ethics, humans and other animals, the value of nature, and nature's future. The discussion is accessible and richly illustrated with examples. The book will be valuable for students taking courses in environmental philosophy, and also for a wider audience in courses in ethics, practical ethics, and environmental studies. It will also appeal to general readers who want a reliable and sophisticated introduction to the field.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
The environment as an ethical questionp. 1
Nature and the environmentp. 1
Dualism and ambivalencep. 2
Environmental problemsp. 6
Questions of scalep. 8
Types of harmp. 10
Causes of environmental problemsp. 11
The role of technologyp. 12
The economic perspectivep. 14
Religion and worldviewsp. 20
Ethics, aesthetics, and valuesp. 22
Human moralityp. 26
The nature and functions of moralityp. 26
Challenges to moralityp. 30
Amoralismp. 31
Theismp. 33
Relativismp. 38
What these challenges teach usp. 44
Meta-ethicsp. 46
The structure of the fieldp. 46
Realismp. 48
Subjectivismp. 56
The sensible centerp. 62
Intrinsic valuep. 68
Normative ethicsp. 76
Moral theoriesp. 76
Consequentialismp. 77
Virtue ethicsp. 85
Kantianismp. 92
Practical ethicsp. 101
Humans and other animalsp. 102
Speciesismp. 102
Animals and moral theoryp. 112
Using animalsp. 120
Animals and other valuesp. 142
The value of naturep. 145
Biocentrismp. 145
Ecocentrismp. 149
Valuing reconsideredp. 153
The plurality of valuesp. 155
Conflicts and trade-offsp. 168
Nature's futurep. 181
Travails of the biospherep. 181
Questions of justicep. 190
Visions of the futurep. 196
Conclusionp. 204
Referencesp. 206
Indexp. 216
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