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Chapter 1

Philosophical Ideas
and Concepts

The earth, he said, has a skin; and this skin has diseases. One of these
diseases, for example, is called “humanity.”
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra1

Nature, according to some ontological philosophers, exists as a reality apart from
the human animal. Long before humankind emerged, the natural world evolved
over numerous millennia as evolutionary adaptations siphoned off weaker plants
and animals, leaving more resilient genera in their wake. Frequent upheaval became
the standard for natural processes and a terrestrial balance that man eventually
altered. Epoch upon epoch came and went before a human sound was uttered or a
creature walked upright and sought to exercise an unfettered will.
It was not a foregone conclusion that a sentient, thinking, adapting, rational
being would fend off predators and debilitating disease to emerge as a dominant
planetary force. Yet despite long odds, Homo sapiens crawled up from the muck
of the primordial ooze, gradually adapting to the environment and overcoming
previously insurmountable obstacles. The new animal was unlike any predeces-
sor. It transcended what had come before: The size and capacity of the brain, an
ability to use opposable thumbs, and its inquisitive and acquisitive characteristics
distinguished the creature from its competitors, ensuring its place atop the food
chain. The animal was equipped with an ingenuity and viciousness that would alter
natural history in myriad ways still not fully understood and perhaps not altogether

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salutary. Biocentrists contend that if human beings had never existed, it would not
have been necessary to invent them.
Nature required most species to live with clearly delineated limitations, yet
human beings were dedicated to transcending boundaries. As humans constructed
a civilization predicated on overcoming natural impediments, they viewed them-
selves as superior to the environment. They dedicated themselves to conquering
nature and harnessing her resources. To be fully human was to use one’s superior
brain and dexterity to outpace all would-be rivals in the race for acquiring food and
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encouraging procreation. Man was not a part of nature; he was above nature. He
was not a creature dependent on context. He was a creature who created context,
who manipulated the world around him to suit his purposes, and who tapped unde-
veloped resources and fashioned an improved environment. Nature was not some-
thing to be enjoyed and celebrated, an intrinsically valuable feature of the external
world. It was a thing to be subjugated as an instrument of human happiness.2

Concepts of Nature in the Western
Intellectual Tradition
Lynn White, Jr., famously observed that the western intellectual tradition is based
on an implicit understanding of nature as instrumentally valuable. God created
the earth for human beings to exploit. Men must establish dominion over nature,
taming it and improving it as necessary to meet human needs. This emphasis on
nature’s utility and subservience to man has reverberated throughout western cul-
ture.3 In the Phaedrus, Plato recalled that his teacher Socrates refused to travel
beyond the boundaries of the city-state, Athens, because the surrounding coun-
tryside was not worth exploring. Only the affairs of men were important. Nature
served as a backdrop, and a poor one, for human endeavors.4
The Christian perspective emphasized the instrumental character of nature.
In Genesis, as God created the earth, He formed man in His own likeness. Man
walked among the vegetation and creatures that God had created, and He “let
them [men] have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air,
and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps
upon the earth.” God commanded in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply, and
fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the
birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” In Genesis
2:19–20, God solidified man’s exalted position as the highest earthly creature by
allowing human beings to classify the things of the earth as men saw fit.

So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and
every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would
call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was

The human form might appear as a different creature in the next life. in word if not always in deed. defecate. bleed.5 Philosophers of the Far East frequently revered nature. why. To view Homo sapiens as a unique consciousness superior to the surrounding world. eastern philosophy was not hegemonic or static. Superficially. the human animal. it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. all civilizations developed a plan for harnessing the resources of the earth. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  5 its name. For all its virtues as an environmental ethos. look you. their houses con- structed from the earth’s resources. and to every beast of the field…. What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals!6 The words can be interpreted in several ways. Nature was instrumentally valuable even if eastern thinking was not as willing as occidentals were to scorch the earth in service of a theoretically higher purpose. The man gave names to all cattle. he dared not alien- ate other animals or subvert the natural context in this life. The difference was in degree. this most excellent canopy. tumultuous existence. their crops planted and harvested. this brave o’erhanging firmament. with it. not kind. Consider Shakespeare’s famous oration from Hamlet: …[T]he earth. must still be fed. The multitudes. human beings are not so different from other forms of life: They take in food. depend on the earth for crops. The forest that a man cut today might be the forest the reincarnated human would need to sustain him Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 tomorrow. is to succumb to a dangerous hubris that will destroy the natural environment and. whether they live in Great Britain or Outer Mongolia. this majestical roof fretted with golden fire. but western thinkers unabashedly reserved their accolades for human mas- tery over the earth. Even before shuffling off the mortal coil. neither were all members of eastern society satisfied to eke out a subsistence living to avoid dilut- ing pristine natural resources. the air. Setting aside the propensity of some biocentrists to tout the myth of eastern environmental harmony. Shakespeare uses the scene to express the melancholy Dane’s discontent with his life. Hamlet knows he . Eastern philosophy developed in a different cultural milieu than the western intellectual tradition and never evinced an antagonistic environmental ethic. and to the birds of the air. seems to me a sterile promontory. Yet the calculation was more than a consequentialist ethic. If the environment was not an impediment to be conquered through ever-more efficient industrial processes. impervious to its tribulations. rise from the soil. and return to ash at the end of a brief.

the birds in the sky. When Christianity supplanted Paganism in many parts of the world. Paganism would be vanquished. The unholy man could not be allowed to revel in his illusions. Consciously or unconsciously. depressed Hamlet denounces the earth as “a sterile promontory” and a breath of fresh air “appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. You made them rulers over the works of your hands. you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds. as she sometimes did with vio- lent weather and natural disasters. 6  ◾  American Environmentalism should appreciate the beauty of the world. human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. the work of your fingers.” or multiple cosmic deities. all that swim the paths of the seas. or . but its beauty changes as it is filtered through a noble. for the natural world was dark and chaotic. compass. Paganism viewed human beings as spiritually one with nature.” A dour. A heathen would be converted with the Word or the sword. angelic consciousness.” Nature Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 does not change. with a capital “N. as anyone who has been lost in a strange forest at night without a map. Man is the only “piece of work” that genuinely matters in the cosmos. but one way or another. Christianity’s ascendancy over Paganism was a tri- umph of light and virtue over darkness and depravity. and the animals of the wild. the moon and the stars. the reverence of nature born of superstition and primitivism became a sign of the heathen. The words also can be read as a commentary on the barrenness of nature unless it is seen through human eyes. The goal was to tread lightly or risk the wrath of Nature striking back at her transgressors. but he is depressed owing to his indeci- sion about avenging his father’s death. whether that was construed as an amorphous Nature. this majestical roof fretted with golden fire. A contented Hamlet is pleased to frolic under “this most excellent canopy” and enjoy “this brave o’erhanging fir- mament. reasonable. To fell a tree or dam a river was to risk enrag- ing the higher power. and the fish in the sea. what is mankind that you are mindful of them. In the traditional narrative. which you have set in place. the lines from Hamlet reflect Psalm 8:3–8 from the Christian Bible: When I consider your heavens. Hamlet charac- terizes the utility of nature according to his moods.

With the advent of the modern environmental movement beginning in the 1970s. We are to use them realizing that they are not ours intrinsically. The concept of divine right later propelled some men above others inside an authoritar- ian regime. God wants human beings to exercise wise environmental stewardship. some Christian apologists argued that the biblical tradition. Christian belief became a means of overcoming ignorance and.e. Rather than blame Christianity for an ecological crisis. taming the wilds of Nature. and we are to exercise our dominion over these things not as though entitled to exploit them. order instead of chaos. Man’s dominion is under God’s dominion.. or. Neoclassical economics and the destructive effects of the Industrial Revolution are the roots of the modern conundrum. Christianity offered its adherents a compelling alternative—light in lieu of darkness. Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 They took umbrage at Lynn White. the wickedly biased media. Eventually. factions hostile to liberty.9 . by extension. which does not justify the wholesale destruc- tion of natural resources. Defending “inalienable” rights has become de rigueur in the postmodern era. especially the humanistic passages found in the New Testament. the earth] belongs to God. the “powers that be. Schaeffer and Udo W. Primitive humans depended on might to make right. does not promote a hostile environmental ethic. Francis A. In short. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  7 light source learns to his chagrin.7 Not everyone has subscribed to this interpretation.8 Rights After conquering the chaos of the natural world. they suggested that White and his adherents look to the origins of modern science and technol- ogy as well as western man’s emphasis on short-term economic gain as culprits. the traditional narrative represents a funda- mental misreading of biblical passages. but as things borrowed or held in trust. The concept of “rights” generally is discussed not by defining the term. Jr.” When pressed to explain the concepts of rights.” It is little wonder the topic invites such passionate discourse as well as unbridled confusion. In their book Pollution and the Death of Man. Middelmann succinctly summarized the Christian ecological perspective this way: It [i. a concept of rights developed to limit government controls. political parties.’s thesis that Christianity rationalizes all manner of malfeasance in the name of unconstrained human dominion over the earth. as a catch-all. especially among partisans who loudly complain about their infringement by offenders variously identified as the government. the shrillest defenders often fall silent or mumble about “the things I am entitled to. the Word in place of the Void. human beings devised plans for liv- ing within a collectivity. but by discussing various types of rights.

at a minimum.11 Natural Rights and Natural Law Natural rights spring from natural law. nation-states emerged in Western Europe. persons may exercise positive rights or negative rights.” or both—gradually widened during the Enlightenment epoch. For positivists. by contrast. The American Founders added a bill of rights to the U. these develop- ments were complementary. well-equipped . Constitution to ensure that questions about whether citizens could be protected from specific government actions would be resolved with minimal ambiguity.S. In a manner of speaking.” “God-given. a right presented to an authoritative governmental body requires. More to the point in the context of environmental issues. To understand the twenty-first cen- tury interpretation. Strong regimes were constructed to fortify against the dark of night where marauding barbarians launched vicious attacks against crumbling empires. Other sources of rights tend to be nebulous. 8  ◾  American Environmentalism A claim right. A schism between the law of the regime and “higher” law—whether “natural. To possess and act on a right is to send a message to would-be interlopers that the self-actualized person who holds the right intends to call for payment under the promissory note. it is necessary to recall a time when Christianity spread from the twilight of the Roman Empire into the medieval period. Positive rights provide the holder with permission to undertake actions while negative rights allow the holder to be left alone without interference. provides the holder with an opportunity to take action but does not affect other parties directly. a concept with no precise meaning.10 A discussion of rights invariably leads to a search for the source of rights. Natural law is difficult to discuss because it has been explained in myriad ways across a broad expanse of western history and culture. although the scope and inter- pretation of those rights remain part of a perennially divisive political debate. A liberty right. It was not an irrational fear in a world where the lack of a strong. In another sense. but upon occasion an authoritarian government faced a defiant clergy that instructed the flock to render unto Caesar the things that were Caesar’s and reserve other tribute to the church. In some instances. a right is a kind of promissory note that allows the Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 bearer to act or be protected from interference as he or she moves through space and time. allows the holder of that right to expect another person or entity to perform an act or refrain from performing an act that affects the claimant. appeals to natural rights beg the question of what makes something part of the “natural order of things” and therefore presumably desirable. The debate over rights is especially conten- tious when nature or God is cited as the ultimate source. for perceptions of nature and God differ radically among the populace. for example. In the late Middle Ages. the body to undertake procedural steps ensuring that the rights-holder will be protected from arbitrary action that potentially harms his or her interests.

a self- serving doctrine that monarchs employed to justify all manner of authoritarian mischief. Human conventions and institutions . For the Stoics. brutish world populated by savages. for the king was God’s earthly emissary. a seemingly impenetrable authoritarian edifice towered above western political thought until no less an architect of democracy than John Locke tapped into a long-standing tradi- tion to tear down one set of walls while simultaneously constructing another. It did not quite rise to the level of a coherent political philosophy or a well-defined doctrine. and die. in the context of a human life. natural law relies on several fundamental presuppositions. Even a flawed. If this rationale were not enough to protect the status quo ante. Rational beings would do whatever they could to remove themselves from that horrific condition. would bemoan the horrors of “nature red in tooth and claw.”12 The quest for a strong government that would protect the citizenry from the Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 viciousness of nature eventually lent credence to the divine right of kings. vio- lent. Virtue requires that human beings recognize these unchanging charac- teristics of life and accept them without complaint. The norms can be discovered and tested as any empirical claim can be verified using scientific measures. To act in accordance with the orderly nature of the universe was to live a virtuous life. Subsequent thinkers sought to understand what propelled natural law. First.13 The Ancient Greeks spoke of natural law as immutable principles that form the ur-stuff. a series of objective norms exists and antedates the development of human laws and institutions. Every idea or institution of man rests on a foundation of a “higher” natural law. Thus. The concept of natural law had existed for centuries when Locke came of age. live. a clever ruler set a two-tiered rhe- torical trap: To argue against the king was to risk eternal damnation. For early Christians. a second concept prompted obedience without appeal to an afterlife: To undermine the king was to undermine the nation and risk the destruction of all manmade institutions. the universe was indifferent. A king ruled his subjects based on a hereditary principle that was not subject to vote or dissent save in rarefied settings stage-managed by the crown. people are born. he envisioned it to be a chaotic. experience pain and hardships. of life. but the notion persisted. poten- tially abusive nation-state was preferable to existence among the unwashed hordes. With the expediency of divine right masquerading as principle. thereby plunging the kingdom into chaos. and “evil” existed insofar as man was unable to comprehend and act upon the divine plan. When Hobbes wrote of the “state of nature” during the seventeenth century. Nineteenth-century thinkers. God’s hand directed nature. paraphrasing Tennyson.14 Whatever its source. To a contrarian who would assail the principle. the “natural order of things” existed and had to be followed. Even a clear-eyed materialist such as Hobbes recognized that a flawed sovereign was preferable to no sovereign at all. The universe was not indifferent. Only an irrational being would risk returning to a state of nature— no matter how heavy-handed the monarch proved to be. as Aristotle explained. or context. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  9 government might lead to chaos and disorder.

even if the ultimate source of reason is Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 not always clear to human beings. To paraphrase Cassius. the immutable laws of cause-and-effect.S. As evolution advances and consciousness improves. but they do not posit a claim superior to natural law. the limitation therefore must be “benefi- cial. Reason permits human beings to understand the “laws of nature” and act accordingly. This articulation lends credence to Locke’s claim that any regime that violates natural law is illegitimate and can be altered. When a con- flict occurs between “higher” natural law and the laws of man. if understood correctly. The rules about proper nutrition have been developed through trial- and-error over time. and the pursuit of happiness. but man is not always privy to the secrets of the universe. It assumes that because existential limitations exist and the universe is an orderly place. the careful observer articulates conclusions about the relationship between the foods put into the body and the consequences that result. and compromises. For non-Christian natural-rights theorists. but in ourselves. and maintenance of the body and which items trigger deleterious effects that harm or poison the body. development. In either case. The dead body returns to the earth to provide nourishment for the soil that will spawn later generations. Their attacks go . As an example from biology. natural law is not flawed or intertwined with biases. This conclusion is supported by accumulated data about what constitutes useful foodstuffs. Declaration of Independence and its assertion of self-evident truths that all men are created equal and possess inviolable rights to life. the body decays while the spirit ascends onto a higher plane that is superior to life on earth. Because a thing exists and its existence can be deemed rea- sonable—even if the reason is not always clear to infallible humans—natural law can be classified as “good. each succeeding genera- tion is an improvement over its predecessors. 10  ◾  American Environmentalism ground regimes. as human laws are. The data indicate which items are beneficial for the growth. To allow a limitation to exist as an unplanned flaw in the schemata is to call into question the harmony of the natural universe. As an expression of divine will in Christian theology. the body must be nurtured with food or it will suffer and ultimately per- ish. existentialists. An individual human being might quake in fear at the thought of perishing. especially postmodern- ists. This value judgment makes a virtue of necessity. it is because human beings do not possess the capacity for understanding divine will. the former must take precedence. natural law is based on reason. Yet reason is not always self-evident. For those of a religious bent.” The concept of nature is inherently valuable. but a species pre- vails. it serves as a rationale for the U. and iconoclasts such as Friedrich Nietzsche.” If the limitation were not beneficial. contradictions. If natural law appears imperfect or inscrutable. A third insight is a normative claim that most natural law supporters accept explicitly or implicitly. Reason exists in nature. Eventually. the flaws are not in the stars. natural law is philosophically desirable. Even illness or death can be seen as positive. It is a perfect expression of God’s infinite power to construct a just world. it would not exist.15 Natural law has been assailed by numerous sources. liberty. Second. necessitate a particular conclusion based on a dispassionate assessment of the evidence.

. right. iterative changes.17 Utilitarianism Utilitarianism arguably is the most influential alternative to natural law as a philo- sophical construct for man’s understanding of nature. Modern medicines and treatments could repel microorganisms. they learned that bacteria and germs were the culprits. Scientific progress relies on a series of halting. places valuations on phenomena. They do not represent an ontological reality. Events occur. For most human beings. The doctrine appeals to a variety of decision-makers. not as we might wish it to be. Similarly. a Utilitarian fashions a theoretical defense from a conclusion about the nature of man. proclaiming an act “natural” begs the question—natural for whom? Is it “natural” to die of diseases that would be prevented or treated if the proper vaccine were administered? If so. cause triggers effect. If natural law predates human beings. not nature. Nature is not good. Later. Value judgments are unnatural in the sense that they are decisions reached by human beings. because it appears to be intuitively obvious. Consider the logical inconsistencies of each presupposition. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  11 to the heart of the natural law conundrum. even those not predisposed to engage in philosophical reflection. In one epoch. but vaccine development required humans to overcome a Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 seemingly “natural” condition.” An animal that otherwise would have died manages to persevere owing to the intervention of a new drug. Labeling an event or activ- ity “natural” does not resolve the difficulty in understanding the penumbra of natural law. bad. The imperfect human animal. Characterizing natural law as “objective” does not resolve the dilemma of whether nature ought to form the basis for a value judgment. administering the vaccine can be deemed unnatural because it goes against the “natural order of things. such a triumph over nature is deemed an incremental step toward progress. If natural law is predicated on objective principles. diseases such as malaria and yellow fever were presumed to be caused by noxious vapors and soiled linens. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. human assessments of natural law are necessarily subject to the flaws inherent in any human enterprise. Newtonian science was hailed as a persuasive explanation for the heretofore mys- terious operations of the natural world—surely the “truth” had been isolated for all time—only to be radically modified by Einstein’s theory of relativity during the twentieth century.16 Objectivity is not as “objective” as the classical philosophers once believed. Just as some natural law supporters defend their position as a compelling explanation for the operation of the world as it is. which factors qualify them as “objective”? A phenomenon that seems “objectively true” today sometimes is found to be demonstrably false later. the conclusion that “natu- ral is good” does not follow as a logical imperative. or wrong. as microbiologists probed causes of infection. Even if a definition of “natural” can be agreed upon.

The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (Figure 1. it has served as an underlying principle for democratic regimes. That is. John Stuart Mill. constitu- encies. The philosophy need not become a convenient rationale for unbri- dled selfishness. The philosophy requires persons to calculate happiness based on an impartial judgment divorced from self-interest. In a large republic filled with multiple interests and numerous. Mill’s rejoinder is to cite the need for civic virtue: A proper Utilitarian considers the happiness of other persons—the greatest amount of happiness in society as an aggregate collection of individual preferences. If a large enough number of citizens can be minimally satisfied. Because the selection often is made based on incomplete or inaccurate information. The person of good character sometimes chooses to satisfy the desires of a larger group even if the choice harms his own choices or damages the interests of a minority.1) famously championed Utilitarianism. He attends school and struggles to master difficult intellectual topics because he believes this strategy will lead to greater plea- sure in the future. which dictates that human beings seek the greatest happiness. or the greatest pleasure. modified Bentham’s justifica- tion of Utilitarianism by asserting that the wisdom of individual choices is dictated by the character of the people who make decisions. no optimal solutions exist. often competing. A genuine Utilitarian calculation . Good Utilitarianism is not solely concerned with the individual as the appropriate unit of analysis. Critics argue that ethics based on maximizing a person’s individual preferences are base and undermine society by encouraging appetite-driven human beings to consider their selfish proclivities above all else. mystic. He chooses “higher” pleasures based on his experiences with pleasure and pain. Rational beings frequently look past their own short-term happiness to pursue long-term goals that presumably lead to future happiness.18 Because Utilitarianism seeks the greatest amount of happiness for the largest number possible. 12  ◾  American Environmentalism Utilitarians argue that rational decision-makers act based on a principle of util- ity. Utilitarianism has not suffered from a dearth of critics. but the intent is to select a choice that satisfies a human need to advance one’s self-interest while avoiding undue hardship or pain. Policymakers recognize they cannot satisfy the needs of all constituents. human beings weigh the costs and benefits of each choice before deciding on a selection that appears to provide the greatest benefit for the least cost. an elected official can cobble together a workable coalition that allows effective public policy to be developed and implemented. He saves money as a rainy-day contingency instead of indulging in current frivolity. which he based on David Hume’s theory of moral sentiments that human beings possess an instinctive understanding of which acts are useful. holy man. Except for the rare ascetic. or mentally challenged individual. A person of good character chooses a course of action that is not necessarily pleasurable to the masses. the calculation may Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 be flawed. Defining “happiness” and measuring its presence or absence are the major points of contention. from choices among competing alternatives. Bentham’s godson and intellectual heir. a typical individual seeks to maximize pleasure and minimize pain to the greatest extent possible.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress.1  The English philosopher Jeremy Bentham was a well-known propo- nent of Utilitarianism. . Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  13 Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 Figure 1.

Comparisons between competing policy choices can become exceedingly com- plex. water shortages. and global warming. Who knows what tech- nological advances and scientific tools will be available to citizens in coming cen- turies? A strict weighing of costs and benefits using current technology is difficult .20 Consider a common public policy issue—industrial development versus envi- ronmental preservation.19 Detractors contend that this numbers-based theory highlights the deficiencies of democratic government. If resources are not carefully preserved and protected. Concepts such as “just” or “right” do not depend on the desires of a majority. In the absence of such consumption. can be used to justify either position. Developers can calculate the resources necessary to sustain a growing population in the short term and leave it to future generations to handle subsequent environmental problems. A majority seeks pleasure instead of pain—this insight is hardly astonishing—but pleasure-seeking does not necessarily form a justifiable basis for philosophical wisdom or. for example? A large group may favor a policy slightly while a much smaller group may strongly prefer the alternative. the philosophical champion of rational cost-benefit calcula- tions. Utilitarianism. The classical Utilitarian suggests that choices can be reduced to discrete units that can be examined side by side. The Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 tyranny of a majority can lead to oppressive public policy and abhorrent personal conduct all in the name of the higher good or the greatest good for the greatest number. never-satiated machine that devours an ever-increasing quantity of natural resources. If the choice is considered a matter of discrete units. Utilitarianism presupposes that choices are almost completely a matter of calculating costs and benefits and selecting a policy that maximizes benefits and minimizes costs. Environmentalists contend that aggressive resource consumption with- out careful natural resource protection will exacerbate a variety of ecological prob- lems. the larger group will always triumph at the expense of the minority. including soil erosion. If a weight is applied. for that matter. rav- enous. This debate can be viewed as the classic tradeoff among competing options inherent in any highly industrialized society. Developers argue that an increasing population and the rise of the middle class throughout the world require aggressive policies allowing them to clear away forests and consume natural resources at an advanced rate. Industrialization is a vast. Avoidance of pain in pursuit of pleasure is a base calculation that can lead to a base society. human civilization will collapse. the infrastructure for supporting the citizenry will be absent and extreme shortages will result. Such an analysis requires no small leap of imagi- nation to square the circle. 14  ◾  American Environmentalism occasionally requires an individual to sacrifice his own happiness for the happiness of a larger group. by what criteria will some discrete units be evaluated as “more valuable” compared with competing units? The exercise soon degenerates into a subjective debate that was supposed to be resolved by a more or less objective cal- culation in the first place. How does one weigh and evaluate depths of preferences. good government.

According to social compact theorists. In some situations. he willingly surrenders a measure of natural rights to create a regime that will protect him from the disastrous effects of natural anarchy. Because the committed Hobbesian recognizes the need to escape a short. According to Moore. Utilitarianism assumes that individuals are capable of reaching rational decisions. E. greed. Utilitarians. but not necessarily so. backgrounds. By the early twentieth century. and levels of understanding or access to information mean that individuals are always guessing . fear. In this way. prudent resource management is required immediately so that resources are not exhausted. lust. natural law forms the basis for rights enjoyed by human beings. including Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. The problems of future generations must be dealt with now because without wise environmental protection in the present. it is possible that persons would willingly sacrifice their liberty on the altar of the greatest good. Moore suggested that a value judgment such as “good” is an ambiguous concept that cannot be defined outside of a specific context. the old theories appeared antiquated and in need of shoring up. Pleasure and good may be identical. as free people everywhere have repeatedly learned to their detriment. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  15 when the potentially negative consequences are not likely to occur. brutish life in a state of nature.21 Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 Aside from the difficulty in valuation and measurement. Different circumstances. In his 1903 work Principia Ethica. a democratic regime is constructed on a rickety foundation of natural law and Utilitarianism. but its critics have undermined its stability. occasionally horrific decisions. In a totali- tarian state. individuals might be willing to endure abuses and surrender their civil liberties in hopes that they will be protected from a state of nature. or the probabil- ity of their occurrence is so far removed that the consequences cannot be tabulated accurately. G. Utilitarianism has been the predominant philosophical justification for the lib- eral democratic state and the default philosophy for generations of thinkers. as social- ist movements gained momentum in parts of Europe and Asia. but they did not explain what they meant by “good” except to assume that “goodness” referred to “plea- sure” without resolving the difficulties associated with precisely defining the terms. passionate emotions that can lead to misguided. there will be no resources available for those persons who come after the current genera- tion passes from the scene. His objective was nothing less than to revise classical Utilitarianism and improve on its numerous deficiencies. argued for the greatest good for the greatest number.22 Complicating this debate is the belief that natural law and Utilitarianism can exist as complementary concepts. envy. Moore attempted to do exactly that. The champion of Lockean prin- ciples contends that the citizen can insist on changes within the regime and even dissolve the regime under extreme circumstances. Yet even ratio- nal beings make decisions based on irrational factors. and revenge are a few of the numerous irrational. Pride. The thoroughgoing Utilitarian takes up the argument by explaining how the regime will satisfy the populace with- out risking a potential return to a natural state. Environmentalists dispute this calculation and argue that based on their own cost-benefit analysis.

” Kant was disturbed by the emphasis on an ever-shifting. good for its own sake. Utility and feeling together influence the manner in which individ- uals arrive at ethical judgments. Renowned eighteenth-century skeptic David Hume was especially adamant in the adaptability of Utilitarianism. situational standard.23 Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 Kantianism as an Alternative to Utilitarianism Moore’s defense of Utilitarianism sought to rehabilitate the philosophy by forestall- ing an examination of the “good” apart from considering outcomes. “good” acts must be judged by examining consequences and determining whether they achieve a desired outcome. In his quest to avoid metaphysical pretensions. Kant theorized that a universal moral law exists. or taste. If human beings were not naturally benevolent—if they did not exhibit sympathy—they would not make ethical judgments because such judgments would be of no value. nothing less. It is difficult to establish authoritative guidelines for behavior because the standards constantly change over time. Hume contended that theoretical constructs lacking practical utility consist of “sophistry and illu- sion” and must be “committed to the flames. Hume’s perspective can be thought of as a philosophy of “modified self-interest and a confined benevolence. Utilitarians embraced only a philosophy of veiled expediency. he must obey absolute rules of conduct. that is. Utilitarianism permitted individuals to rationalize any terrible behavior according to the situation. Feeling. also is required because rational knowledge alone does not provide guidance on assigning moral praise or blame. the latter must be addressed. In championing an endlessly flexible philo- sophical construct.24 The relativism implicit in Utilitarianism triggered a reaction among philosophers who believed that philosophical and ethical standards must be absolute. or instrumentally good because it accomplishes another goal. 16  ◾  American Environmentalism at what choices and actions are desirable. The question is whether something is intrinsically good. moral agent. Since the former question can never be answered defini- tively. Kant countered that if man is to be free to act as a rational. man is little more than a lower-order animal because he can undertake actions without reflection or analysis. a German phi- losopher who claimed that Hume’s “hypothetical imperative” awakened him from his “dogmatic slumbers.” The imperative is a standard . Because the good cannot be known first- hand. Utilitarianism is an imperfect heuristic tool for answering the second query—nothing more. the standards are different for different cultures and people. In a world where a hypothetical imperative exists. If the utility of the philosophy determines its value.” Yet a Utilitarian calculation alone is a necessary but insufficient foundation for ethics.2).” His philosophy also contained the same deficiencies that all Utilitarian-based ethical theory must confront. The emphasis on outcomes as determining the worth of an action drew objections in some quar- ters because a consequentialist ethic changes with the circumstances. Perhaps the most influential reaction came from Immanuel Kant (Figure 1. which he labeled the “categorical imperative.

“Act only on that maxim whereby thou canst at the same time will that it should become a universal law. of behavior for free. Courtesy of the Library of Congress. rational. The categorical imperative is the Golden Rule where a person should do unto others as he would have them do unto him. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  17 Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 Figure 1.2  The great deontological philosopher Immanuel Kant argued against Utilitarianism. If a person chooses to undertake an action. moral agents under all circumstances without respect to space and time. he must ask himself a question—“would I want to live in a society where everyone acts in this manner?” .” he wrote.

while it does not legally implicate the bystander in the murder. The determination of a duty is not subject to bargaining and negotiation among competing and variable value judgments. The dispute between the instrumental school of thought (anthropocentrism) and the intrinsic school of thought (biocentrism) lies along this fault line. Duty does not change owing to Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 changing circumstances. but suffice to say that the debate concerns whether natural resources should be treated as any other commodity and therefore subject to traditional economic valuations or whether natural resources are unique and should be protected as part of humankind’s duty to nature without regard to tradeoffs among competing claims. If performing one’s duty requires an unwavering devotion to principle. If the answer is “yes. Emerson’s observation that “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.25 In the context of environmentalism. why is the act deemed “ethical”? Adhering to a rigid understanding of one’s obligations sometimes can stifle creativity and limit human achievement. Yet if a desperate individual fleeing from a murderer seeks assistance. according to Kant. nonetheless is a direct and proximate cause of the crime. the murderer appears and inquires as to the whereabouts of his intended victim? If the Good Samaritan tells the truth. A conscientious bystander might explain that the lie was necessary to . Rational beings must never be treated as a means to an end. their welfare cannot be bargained away. what happens when two principles conflict? Constant’s example involved two principles generally accepted by most adherents of western tradition: the duty to tell the truth and protect human life as precious.” Benjamin Constant famously developed a devastating rejoinder to Kant.26 In his famous essay “On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns. It appears to violate the Samaritan’s ethical duty to protect human life as precious. A choice among alternatives becomes a question of duty. and a helpful bystander points to a suitable hiding place. 18  ◾  American Environmentalism If the answer is “no. he has violated his duty to tell the truth. he must disclose the hiding place. but shortsighted and narrow-minded. minutes later. The admission. If rational beings are ends in themselves. the Hume–Kant debate between utility and duty can be analogized as the debate between persons who regard nature as instrumentally valuable and those who contend it is intrinsically valuable. how should the bystander respond when. This insight under- mines the Utilitarian desire to seek the greatest good for the greatest number by reducing preferences to discrete units that can be compared and traded. which probably will lead to the death of the desperate individual.” the person must refrain from acting. This point will be developed in Chapter 3. If the bystander does not disclose the hiding place. adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines” suggests that performing duty for duty’s sake is not praiseworthy.” the person should act. The categorical imperative has another meaning as well. Friedrich Nietzsche disparaged “old Kant” for the old man’s relentless empha- sis on duty. If a person’s duty can be identified (which is not always the case) and the person chooses to act accordingly.

Presumably. properly understood” leads to benefits extending across the broad canvas of the social fabric. psychological egoism is an empirical claim about how the world operates. Thus. but he also is improving civic and community life. which explains why phi- lanthropists donate money anonymously or soldiers sacrifice their lives to save their peers. Using analogies of the family and business endeavors. sets an example. drop out of school. and actively participates in political and civic activities contributes to the good of the whole.28 By contrast. Yet a dedicated adherent of ethical egoism argues that such seemingly selfless acts ultimately advance a self-interested goal because the person undertaking the action receives gratification or believes he earns a higher reward in the next life. the citizen who pays his taxes. some well-meaning souls do not succeed despite their best efforts. duty is absolute or it is not. ethical egoism suggests that self- interest ought to be the motive. A parent who nurtures a child and establishes a stable home is acting in the interest of his family. ethical egoism. and engages in civic virtue may discover that the children misbehave. Whereas psychological egoism claims to describe how people in fact behave. the family unit . All actions. or participate in criminal behavior. a fundamental precept behind Utilitarianism. it can produce casualties. Social Darwinism can be thought of as both an empirical and a norma- tive concept. but ethical egoism can be defended by suggesting that self-interest is a broader concept than mere selfishness. which is sup- posed to be an inviolable duty. The ethical egoist contends that pursuing a policy of what Alexis de Tocqueville called “self-interest. but the lie violates Kant’s principle about telling the truth. A related concept. are undertaken with the purpose of benefiting the self-interested ego. altruism suggests that self-interested beings occasionally act to promote an other-directed goal. no matter how seemingly noble. Adapted from Charles Darwin’s biological theories. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  19 save a life. Empirically. seeks to understand human motivations and beliefs by examining the self as the unit of analysis. The entrepreneur who accepts risks in the interests of reaping financial rewards creates jobs and investment opportunities for other persons. Social Darwinism suggests that even as self-interest can be ben- eficial. teaches his children val- ues of self reliance and independence. Despite his best efforts. The minute a person rationalizes deviations from the principle. no matter how well meaning or praiseworthy the rationalization. Detractors denounce the theory as a poor justification for selfishness. As an alternative. he slips into the muddy waters of the hypothetical imperative along with all the unwashed Utilitarians. The human animal is inherently self-interested and therefore acts in ways that advance self-interest even in instances where the com- mon good is undermined.27 Ethical Egoism and Social Darwinism Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 The debate assumes another guise as well. For Kant. is a normative theory. Egoism. it is clear that the well-meaning parent who sends his children to good schools.

20  ◾  American Environmentalism disintegrates. The philosophical doctrines discussed in this chapter . virtuous. but history is filled with examples of species that have survived through countless millennia. If a human being does not wish to sleep outside in a natural condition. The home is equipped with modern conveniences. for example. namely the problem of judging the desirability of a concept by examining outcomes. including central heating and air conditioning. Moreover. so that the undesirable aspects of the natural environment can be moderated to maximize comfort. The entrepreneur may discover that for all his business acumen. carbon dioxide. can and should the burdens be more evenly distributed? This question goes to the heart of the natural-resource allocation problem.” but the Social Darwinist points to the natural world as an empirical example. chlorofluorocarbons. and professional contacts.” Such value judgments are based on the presupposition that the selection is “natural” and therefore. Existing at the top of the food chain allows the superior species to modify his world in accordance with his wishes. if individual members of the species imperil the species collectively through environmental deg- radation. By mixing an empirical observation with a normative concept—“the survivor can be judged as ‘good’ because it self-evi- dently exists”—Social Darwinism makes a virtue of necessity. Yet the human animal constantly intervenes in “natural” processes and stacks the deck toward a favored outcome. If insects and rodents seek refuge inside the home. The Social Darwinist shrugs and mutters. Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 Weakness—whether among animal species or in the social realm—must be eradi- cated so that desirable traits endure. The Darwinist argues that the creation of this artificial environment is the advantage a human animal enjoys owing to its superior adaptability. he seeks employment to earn money to purchase a home. the incensed property owner contacts a pest control company to eradicate the offending population.29 Environmental Justice Defenders of environmental justice argue that a separate and distinct environmen- tal ethic must be developed. whether it is in the form of excrement.” A contentious debate rages to this day about what constitutes the “fit- test. A survivor is “good” and a victim of natural selection is “bad. Yet this theory does not consider whether the burdens created by a superior animal can and should be borne by other animals. The human animal discards waste that must be pumped into the environment. It is not always clear what makes an animal thrive over its competitors. by definition. leftover foodstuffs. the survivor must therefore be superior to the organisms that failed to adapt to an ever-changing environment. the venture fails and he must declare bankruptcy. Social Darwinism suggests that the fittest ought to survive. The theory assumes that because a thing survives while its competitors do not. As a normative concept. or a corpse at life’s end. Social Darwinism suffers from the same logical difficulty that applies to natural law or consequentialism. supe- rior marketing schemes. “It is the survival of the fittest.

but it does not provide a clear mechanism for determining who owes a duty to whom. animals. In addition. Individuals undoubtedly owe duties to other individuals. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  21 do not provide satisfactory guidance for developing an effective theory of envi- ronmentalism. what happens when duties extend beyond human beings to lower animals and to nature? Eventually. ethical egoists and Social Darwinists champion self-interest. Yet the concept of environmental justice suggests that lower ani- mals and other living things possess rights. Utilitarianism fails to provide an effective solution when happiness and equity clash. Although some environmentalists prefer a radical shift so the human animal is no . If Utilitarianism does not employ a mechanism for judging among and between depths of preferences. duties. In egregious cases. Rather than assume the human being is the unit of analysis and consider rights. Kantianism heralds the importance of duty. Maximizing pleasure in the aggregate may seem to be an intuitively defensible objective until one realizes that one segment enjoys a large share of the pleasure and another segment endures a large share of the pain. The interested self is not necessarily a selfish soul. but in doing so I may harm my self-interest in the future by consuming natural resources without replenishing them. a burden that must be borne without compromise. duties will bump up against duties.” This short journey can impose devastating consequences on other human beings. but at what scale should it be measured? I may choose to advance my self-interest today. Kantianism does not provide a mechanism for resolving disputes that arise owing to overlapping. and the planet. fulfilling my duty to one entity precludes fulfilling my duty to another entity. In addition. If redistributing the burdens and benefits provides unhap- piness and perhaps reduces aggregate happiness. properly understood” to “myself above all others. but do they owe duties to non-humans as well? This exposition initially sounds odd. the manner in which rights Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 are distributed is important. The balancing act remains contentious.30 Utilitarianism argues that the goal should be the greatest aggregate happiness for all persons. the regime. Rights theorists desire a mechanism for assigning and protecting rights. For their part. but it does not specify what should happen when one segment of society bears a disproportionately large share of the burden while another seg- ment enjoys a larger share of the benefits. If duty is eter- nal. but they usually presume that rights extend only to persons and that unequal distributions are not especially problematic as long as arbiters of disputes are in place and are well-functioning. and costs from that perspective. The core question concerns how those rights are bal- anced against human rights. but it is not a long journey from “self-interest. “environmental burdens and benefits” must be afforded weight. Building on Benjamin Constant’s insight. but it raises a valid point. it also does not provide guidance on resolving equity questions. most influential philosophical doctrines within the western intellectual tradition ignore the disproportionate distribution of burdens. contradictory duties. The environmental justice movement finds fault with each traditional school of thought and seeks to recast the philosophical debate.

Yet it presupposes that all parties freely and fairly participate in the exchange. Setting aside the question of aesthetics. The difficulty. The neoclassical economists’ position is discussed in Chapter 2. the option Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 that promises the greatest ROI—that is. including pollu- tion. rational actors would confront distribution questions immediately. Subsequent transactions become a mat- ter of adjustments to the original contract. treating nature as another fungible commodity. over the course of x number of years. In his famous treatise A Theory of Justice. is that par- ties know their relative positions in the marketplace. Owing to incomplete or faulty information as well as the vagaries of the outside world. and return on investment (ROI). but it may impose higher-than-normal costs if the plan does not succeed. can lead to unforeseeable changes in habitat—but the calcula- tion ensures that short-term financial gains will trump questions about long-term systemic destruction. The core value of any contract is a free exchange of promises. Even the conservative anthropocentric philoso- pher who believes that nature is important because it is instrumentally useful for humanity can argue for a broader perspective. Economists sometimes assign a value to environmental resources. If I am required . If each vari- able can be translated into a standard unit so it can be compared with other standard variables. One party offers something of value to another party in exchange for consideration. The standard analytical framework for capitalism is to construct a decision matrix based on costs. a decision-maker may take a calculated risk that promises a higher-than-normal ROI. 22  ◾  American Environmentalism longer the primary consideration but one among many competing units of analysis. John Rawls questioned the nature of exchanges because the traditional analysis does not adequately consider the unequal distribution of goods and services. decision-makers can assess options. benefits. such a seismic shift is not required. the cost-benefit calculation is usually a gamble of sorts. a polluted river over time leads to the loss of species which. In some cases. If some parties are unequal and cannot freely and fairly participate in the marketplace. it maximizes benefits while minimiz- ing costs—is the preferred option. If they were forced to develop a system of consensual exchange without advance knowledge of their positions. Presumably. but the valuation assumes that natural-resource destruction can be calculated merely as a diminution in value. the foundational assumption that all parties consent to the exchange is suspect. If each party believes the exchange to be beneficial. the parties experience a meeting of the minds. a cost-benefit analysis assumes that natu- ral resources can be evaluated without considering the scale of degradation—for example. according to Rawls. This arrangement underscores economic and political choices made by members of the collectivity. Environmental justice advocates contend that the traditional cost-benefit analysis fails to consider environmental degradation adequately because the cal- culation of negative externalities does not factor in the misallocation of resources.31 Mainstream economists explicitly or implicitly subscribe to the Hobbesian and Lockean concepts of a social contract.

This type of thinking represents a significant threat to the development of a new environmental ethic. overplant the soil. I will design a system such that any exchange among parties will not allow a disadvantaged party to be harmed beyond a certain point. wealthy nations that enjoy a surplus of resources and a decided advantage in producing and consuming new technologies look askance at their brethren who are only now engaged in modern industrialization.32 Environmental justice advocates insist that Rawls’s theory can be used to modify traditional economic and political analyses about nature. In the context of international relations. and pollute rivers? Have they learned nothing from history about the calamitous effects of natural-resource destruction?” These nations have learned much from their supposedly more advanced and industrialized neighbors. We must protect the natural environment so we do not permit our lack of information about long-term environmental effects to harm our sometimes- hidden interests. and displacement of traditional farming and hunting societies in favor of a capitalist model—develop- ments that cause leaders of highly industrialized nations to blanch. By analogy. Rawls assumed that parties acting in an original position pos- sess incomplete information about their self-interest. clothe. feed. The cry goes out: “How dare China. the ramifications are monumental. the United States constructed giant factories that belched out black smoke and polluted rivers. Therefore. or Brazil destroy forest resources. house. This principle ensures that the regime does not inadvertently become a system of extreme haves and have-nots. and educate its citizens as well as enjoy a seat at the table of power and influence among the countries of the world. If environmental degradation is the price to pay so that a developing nation can rise up from poverty. Burgeoning con- sumption rates in developing nations can lead to horrific environmental degradation associated with dirty operations. Well-developed. Rather than Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 assign rights to human parties and allow free trade among parties without ensuring an equal distribution of resources—and without providing a safety net for parties unable to compete—rules must be established to equalize the playing field and recognize differences not fully captured by mainstream eco- nomic analysis. producing hazardous and in some cases radioactive wastes that remain problematic. they design a distribution system that protects the least-advantaged members because a deci- sion-maker might discover he is among the least advantaged. but perhaps it is not the lesson that wealthy nations desire. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  23 to determine the rules of exchange within a hypothetical regime without knowing whether I will be rich or poor. then the benefits are worth the costs. The result was the establishment of an economic powerhouse. India. crippling injuries to workers. we operate under a veil of ignorance when we engage in environmental decision- making. A hundred years ago.33 .

they can and must be accorded philosophical relevance. as this book discusses in coming pages. An entity that possesses rights can petition—perhaps through a fiduciary—to protect and assert those rights. core questions must be addressed to develop a philosophy of environmentalism. unfettered destruction. . as in an anthropocentric framework. need not require an either–or choice: Either continue to consume resources without altering current behavior or eschew all modern conveniences and revert to life in a pre-industrialized state. safety. the philosophical ideas and concepts under- lying American environmentalism are difficult to assess because they are based on a hodge-podge of competing. a seat at the table of consideration.34 In searching for a median position. Violations can be penalized. nonetheless. or at least to a clear. citizens have decried the natural-resource despoliation that threatens the health. rapid and relatively inexpen- sive modes of transportation. A median position can be developed. The cliché often bandied about is to deride vehement environmentalists by professing a strong aversion to returning to mud huts. efficient means of communication. The nature and extent of those rights are subjects of no small conten- tion. Whether those rights are derivative and instrumental. a position must be constructed on a foundation that may not consist of solid bedrock. Without a rights-assignment. few Americans are willing to forgo the benefits of modern technology. 24  ◾  American Environmentalism Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here? Negative environmental externalities were not fully understood one hundred years ago. As every novice philosophy student soon realizes. and welfare of human beings. if non-human entities possess rights. If a stand must be taken. As modern research has demonstrated the costs of environmental degrada- tion. sometimes contradictory positions. but their existence is a requirement for a robust environmental ethic. Yet practicing effective environmental stewardship. To construct this original position. and a plethora of entertainment options. as in a biocentric con- ception. includ- Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 ing advanced medicines and medical procedures. Yet raising a hue and cry does not a satisfactory resolution make. The first consideration is whether non-humans possess rights that must be respected by humans. consistent statement of immutable. the earth becomes a prop in a stage play of humanity. nature is nothing more or less than another fungible good to be consumed. Assuming arguendo that non-human entities do not possess rights. Homo sapiens struts across the prosce- nium using and discarding items with no regard save for whether the thing can be replenished as necessary. but one that can be assiduously defended. unimpeachable values. Absent non-human rights. Exercising dominion over the earth does not provide license for wholesale. no clear path leads through the morass of con- flicting theories toward enlightenment. Rights provide a starting point for all the negotiations that follow. they must exist and be acknowledged by substantially everyone if rights and responsibilities are to be determined. Aside from radical biocentrists or extreme Luddites. in a sense they begin at an enormous disadvantage. Thus. or inalienable and intrinsic.

Patrick Dobel. J. Numerous sources document the rise of the human animal. 1989). Md. William Shakespeare. For environmentalists who contend that “nature is different. Ill. Ronald L. The Balance of Nature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The Environment and the Christian: What Does the New Testament Say about the Environment? (Grand Rapids. 3767 (10 March 1967): 1203–1207. Kenneth Schmitz. Notes 1. Middelmann. First Along the River: A Brief History of the U. for example. 5. Massanari.” Daedalus 137. 4–5. “Stewards of the Earth’s Resources: A Christian Response to Ecology. 2007). 8. Chapter 3 explores the environmentalists’ rejoinder. 1991). 1 (1998): 37–61. translator (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Calvin DeWitt. Jr. Scene ii. “Evolution and Human Nature.. 1991). “‘To Fright the Animals and To Kill Them Up’: Shakespeare and Ecology.: Rowman & Littlefield. Ames. Orians. focusing especially on the range of positions from traditional cost-benefit analysis through deep ecol- ogy. a value can be assigned to the natural environment according to traditional neoclassical principles. 4. 2 (Spring 2008): 39–48. 1977): 906– 909. See. 2009). Pollution and the Death of Man (Wheaton. “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis. Rothrock. 2 (October 12. 2. Phaedrus (Millis. 57. 1965). Plato. Lynn White. for example.” neoclas- sical economists miss the point. Orians. See.” Christian Century 94. For proponents of industrial development.: Agora Publications.” 40. Gordon H. 92. 3rd ed. Nature in Asian Traditions of Thought: Essays in Environmental Philosophy (Albany: State University of New York Press. 2 (Spring 2002): 89–104. Baird Callicott and Roger T. The Tragedy of Hamlet: King of Denmark (New York: Airmont Books. 2005). Benjamin Kline. editors. a standard of valuation must be established. Raymond E.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 16. Mass. 1 (Winter 2012): 81–94. for example. Arthur J. To understand this crucial distinction and thereby answer the question of Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 “Where do we go from here?” Chapter 2 summarizes the neoclassical-economic position. for example. “Evangelicals . Schaeffer and Udo W.: Baker Academic.” Science 155. See also.D. “Nature & Human Nature.: Crossway. Grizzle. 1970). Mich. (Lanham.” Shakespeare Studies 39 (October 2011): 74–83. Ph. 7.. Chapter 10 discusses factors to assess in constructing a path forward. Normativity. see. Sharon O’Dair. “Towards the Reciprocity of Man and Nature: Receptivity. and Christopher B. This requirement becomes a sticking point among competing schools of thought. 113. Act II. 6. Robson. 3.” Buddhist-Christian Studies 18. Pimm. Graham Parkes. 64–65. The valuation can rise or fall depending on market principles and external forces that alter human preferences. Friedrich Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. J. “A Problematic in Environmental Ethics: Western and Eastern Styles.S.” Nova et Vetera (English Edition) 10. Francis A. For a discussion of ecology in Shakespeare’s works. Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  25 Absent a system of rights. Stuart L. and Procreativity. “Nature & Human Nature. Barrett. 69. Paul E. preferably by consensus. Environmental Movement.

Ideology and Political Life. “David Hume.” in History of Political Philosophy. Mass.. 2 (Fall 2000): 158–172. Flat. 10. Heywood.” Trinity Journal 19. 2nd ed. 149–151. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 1966). “An Introduction to Ethical Theory. Friedman. 326–333. See also Robert S. 1987). “Nature & Human Nature. “Environmental Theology: A Judeo-Christian Defense. 2nd ed. and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America (New York: Farrar. The Classical Mind. 15. Heywood. 14. 2 (December 1928): 152–153.” 31–32. 1 (Spring 1998): 4–14. ed. 12. N. 23.: Hackett Publishing. Heywood.” in The Environmental Ethics & Policy Book. Hill.” Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 Harvard Law Review 42. 11. VanDeVeer and Christine Pierce. Hoover. 1962). Mortimer J. VanDeVeer and Christine Pierce. 13. Mass.” 29–32. 1994). 348–349. “The ‘Higher Law’ Background of American Constitutional Law. 17. Political Ideas and Concepts. “Immanuel Kant.: AHM Publishing. 3 (April 2003): 576–598.: Wadsworth. 21. 554–593. 2008). for example. 1970). A Theory of Justice (Cambridge. 1977). Donald VanDeVeer and Christine Pierce. David E. An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (New York: Hafner. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (Indianapolis. Ideology and Political Life. See.. 20. Hoover. 138. 9. Thomas L. “Neutral and Relative Value after Moore. David Hume. 138–141.. Orians. 1948). 1996). G. See also Pierre Hassner.” Journal of Markets and Morality 3. Political Ideas and Concepts: An Introduction (New York: St. Leo Strauss and Josephy S. see. Cooper.” in History of Political Philosophy. 110–113. 509–531.: Blackwell. 31–34. 1998). editors (Belmont. “An Introduction to Ethical Theory. Political Ideas and Concepts. Moore. 29–32. 2nd ed. Calif. Beyond Good and Evil. 16. John Rawls. Ind. Corwin. The Classical Mind. Cropsey. Peter J. 2nd ed. Jones. 19. 262–263. Hill. John Stuart Mill.: Courier Dover Publications. 2004). 1972). Present. Andrew Heywood. 9. 220–222. Hot. 330–331. Ideology and Political Life. Principia Ethica (Mineola. 18. Inc. Leo Strauss and Josephy S. W. editors (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.: Wadsworth. For a cogent discussion of this debate. 49. T. On Liberty (Arlington Heights.. Immanuel Kant. 26  ◾  American Environmentalism and Environmentalism: Past. for example. Adler and Seymour Cain. 25. Political Ideas and Concepts.: Belknap Press. Calif. Ill. Edward S. 201–202. Walter Kaufmann.” 39–48. 1972). Jones. Cropsey. . 2nd. editors (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Jeremy Bentham. translator (New York: Vintage. See also Michael Smith. Ethics: The Study of Moral Values (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica. (Belmont. 111–112. “An Introduction to Ethical Theory. 1971). Hoover. 182–183. World Philosophies: An Historical Introduction (Cambridge. and Future. E. 22–30. Martin’s Press. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals (New York: Prometheus Books. Kenneth R. Friedrich Nietzsche. 1947).Y. 22. 24. Donald VanDeVeer and Christine Pierce. 15–17.” Ethics 113. 86–87. Straus and Giroux. The literature on Utilitarianism is voluminous. 1994).

“An Introduction to Ethical Theory..” 15–17. VanDeVeer and Christine Pierce. 177. 32. 4th ed. 182–183. 3rd ed. See. 36–38. 17–19. editors. Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics. On non-human rights. Richard Hofstadter. for example. Cialdini. VanDeVeer and Christine Pierce. Social Darwinism has been the subject of numerous books. 28. N. Pondy. 2nd ed. James W. Catherine Woollard. 2011). 34.” in Immanuel Kant. translator (Indianapolis.J. “On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns. 2001). Beyond Good and Evil. “Commitment and Consistency: Hobgoblins of the Mind. Leavitt. The Emerson quote can be found in Robert B. See.J. see. A Theory of Justice. for example.. Tom Regan and Peter Singer. (Upper Saddle River.” in Readings in Managerial Psychology. Louis R. 33. 13. 1996). Philosophical Ideas and Concepts  ◾  27 26. editors (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.: Princeton University Press. for example. Animal Rights and Human Obligations. Nietzsche. Paola Cavalieri. John Vogler and Mark F. Andrew John and Rowena Pecchenino. for example. 1993). 25th Anniversary Edition (Princeton.” 34–36. Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysics of Morals. . Imber. 1992). “An Overlapping Generations Model of Growth and the Environment. Downloaded by [Universidad Industrial De Santander] at 15:08 06 December 2016 29. Paul Taylor. N.: Hackett Publishing. 1989). 30. 27.: Pearson Education. 1989).” The Economic Journal 104. Ellington. Social Darwinism in American Thought (Boston: Beacon Press. and David M. 31. Boje. Benjamin Constant. 427 (November 1994): 1393–1410. Ind. The Environment and International Relations (New York: Routledge. Harold J. Rawls. The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights. 63–68. translator (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. “An Introduction to Ethical Theory. See.

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