Holma llol8ltm III
serious thought about the possibility of a non-anthropocentric, naturalistic environmental ethic.
there moral awakening going on here,analogous to
of the days when we
~ w o k e
to the evils of slavery
ofchild labor? People in business are by custom bound to consider the anthropocentric ethic, but not the naturalistic one. But those in the world
business eventually will encounter the principles and implications of
latter ethic and,
the proverb has it, there
no time like the present
begin to do some thinking here. This
not only because some of themost vigorous critics of
b u s i n ~
have these deeper concerns,
becauseeven those who operate out of humanistic motives may
theysometimes share sympathies with, and find some logic in, what the naturalists recommend.We
begin with a sketch of some of the main principles or oper
rules of a humanistic environmental ethic
with a sketch of some main rules in a more naturalistically orientedenvironmental ethic
In a third and final
wenote how the ethical interplay between business
the environment is
especially complex thing. Owing both to the nature of business in ourindustrial society and to the nature of environmental interactions, complications arise
to make ethical judgments in
more demanding contexts than ethicists sometimes face. Our finalgroup of guidelines offers some advice for the businessperson in the midstof
complexities of environmental affairs. A mosaic of ideas -humanistic and naturalistic concerns, individual and corporate responsibility,obligations to future generations, shared risks, and so forth -has here
kept in focus if we are to form a clear picture of
f a c t s ' ~
values." Stand too close and we
lose the over-alldes.go. Stand too far away and we see the shape
lose the substance.
to command a clear view.
appropriate about the style of presentation.
over-all argument does not run like the links of a chain, for.extended for
seldom possible in ethics. Rather, what unfolds
aseries of maxims, or injunctions, together with explanations and illustrations sufficient for the reader to
demanded. This invites critical reflection.
far as readers
these "commandments" make sense, they
tend cumulatively to support
multiple legs support a large table. These maxims will
s o m e t i ~ e s
call middle-level rules,
neither verygeneral nor very specific. We will give each one a name,
forget it too easily.
Environmental ethics connects
with a problematic theme: how toharmonize the sometimes dissonant claims of private interests and publicgoods.
old ambivalence in the Judeo-Christian mind about profit