environmental ethics final
Kenneth Goodpaster
“On Being Morally Considerable”
Being alive is the only criteria for being morally considerable
Necessary and sufficient condition
biocentric view
Aaron Simmons
“Do Animals have interest in Continued Life”
Future opportunities view
instinctual to want to live
Non humans due moral consideration
The interest principle: those who have interests have rights
Death can harm animals even if they don’t experience suffering.
Thomas White
“Is a Dolphin a Person?”
believes dolphins are persons because they meed his criteria for personhood.
definition of a person
Elisa Aaltola
“Personhood and Animals”
3 approaches to personhood: perfectionist, humanistic, interactive
animals are individuals ontologically, not morally
cluster theory: personhood consists of plurality of specific capacities
Slizabeth Skakoon
“Nature and Human Identity”
Plastic brains
root of our environmental problem is that we are separated from nature and therefore think we are superior to it.
cartesian subject: mind in a vat, unconnected to the world around him
artifacts; nature as an artifact and able to use it however we want.
Peter SInger
“All Animals are Equal”
Normative ethics
equal consideration
speciesism (coined)
sentience is necessary for equal consideration
utilitarianism
Aldo Leopold
“Land Ethic”
Intrinsic Value lies within the whole
love, respect, admiration, interconnectivity in the land.
disconnect of where we get our food
holism
3 enemies of morality: middle man, indifference, false faith in science/government.
Arne Naess
“Self Realization”
ecosophy- chance in worldview
ecophilosophy (broad)
biocentric holism
first distinction between shallow and deep ecologies.
Katie McShane
“Why Environmental Ethic Shouldn’t Give up on Intrinsic Value”
need for concept of intrinsic value
environmental problems aren’t fundamentally scientific
need alternative ways of valuing nature
relationship between the kind of value we think an entity has and the attitude we take toward it.
Donald Van De Veer
“Interspecific Justice”
Supports two factor egalitarianism
forms of interspecific justice: radical speciesism, extreme speciesism, two factor egalitarianism, species egalitarianism, interest sensitive speciesism.
Tom Regan
“The Case for Animal Rights”
moral agents and moral patients
subject of a life
justice theory
dismisses utilitarianism
fundamental wrong is not suffering, it is the belief that we view animals as our resources.
Paul Taylor
“An Ethics of Respect For Nature”
Individual nonhuman biological organisms are a value of their own.
obligation to protect and promote the good of nonhuman living things for their sake (life centered theory).
argument: biocentric
ethics of respect for nature is made up of belief system, ultimate moral attitude, set of rules of duty and standard character.
teleological center of life
Victoria Davion
“Itch Scratching and Patio Building”
biocentric individualism- all life has intrinsic value
Believes it is agains the average person’s intuitions to not step on a bug.
Argues agains Kawall’s “virtuous observer”

“How Feminist is Ecofeminism”
truly feminist perspective embraces both feminine and masculine critically.
5 ecofeminist views
important task is finding different ways of thinking that are not contaminated by the logic of domination.

Sarah Pohl
“Technology and Wilderness Experience”
Practice responsible simplicity when in the wilderness
Technology can skew unique characteristics of outdoor experience.
Allowing room for wilderness in everyday lives
Virtue ethics
Ramachandra Guha
“Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation”
Critique of deep ecology’s emphasis on wilderness preservation: reducing human population, neglecting other issues, appropriation of eastern spiritual tradition, perception of itself as the leading edge of environmentalism.
Militarism and overconsumption are root of environmental problems.
Karren Warren
“The Power and Promise of Ecological Feminism, Revisited”
Important interconnections among domination of women and others.
Important to understand these connections to find solutions.
Feminist philosophy should include ecofeminist insights into those interconnections and should so should solutions to env. problems.
oppressive conceptual framework
logic of domination
exploitation of nature/animals is justified by feminizing them.
ecofeminist ethic.
Chris Cuomo

“Ethics and the Ecofeminist Self” Animal rights theories developed by Peter Singer and Tom Regan are based on questionable philosophical assumptions. Ecofeminist theories are more accurate and useful than others.

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Shifts to looking at responsibility of corporations. 

Act politically. Moral responsibility. 

Murray Bookchin
“What is Social Ecology”
Connection between domination of nature and social hierarchies
In a society with social hierarchies, we are inclined to accept certain forms of domination, including that of nature.
first nature and second nature
Not Marxism, or anarchy
Vandana Shiva

“Politics of Climate Change” Favors local trade/ agains WTO and world bank Paradigm shift, not fossil fuel shift extreme weather due to destabilizing GHG development must be defined autopoetically against carbon trading. “Food for Cars or People” Biofuel-monocultures and hurting biodiversity harming the poor biofuels are a greenhouse threat, cause water scarcity, threat to food security. need democratic decision making at the business level.

Development and Maldevelopment

Ernest Partridge
“Future Generations”
We know a few things about the future generations
First, do no harm
Lockean Proviso
Moral education is crucial
anticipation and prevention are better than finding a cure.
just forebearance
doing well by doing good
moral responsibility
Dale Jameison
“Nature’s Future”
I=PAT
need voluntary reductions in fertility for stable population.
We should deny people food because more will die if we don’t.
3 scenarios: environmental catastrophe, increased inequality and env. degradation, change in lifestyle for privileged people.

“Climate Change, Responsibility, and Justice”
Two kinds of risks- linear and non-linear
practical, theoretical, prudential, and ethical responsibility.
respect for nature

Steve Vanderheiden
“Two shades of Green: Food and Environmental Sustainability”
light green: human welfare
dark green: save nature
feeding people is a distribution problem, not availability.
William Murdoch
“Population and Food: Critique of Lifeboat Ethics”
Think Hardin’s metaphors are misleading and other factors are needed to understand population and hunger problem.
Hardin favors private ownership
Two things asked of rich nations: increase nonmilitary foreign aid, and to give it in ways and to governments that will deliver it to the poorest people and improve access to national economic institutions.
Philip Cafaro
“Getting to Less”
No avail thesis
increased efficiency is not enough. we must reduce consumption.
two routes: exalted view- happiness in mental realm.
second route: pleasurable contentment as goal.
less consumption needs to overtake more consumption as a more popular decision.
Anthropocentrism
Human centered
Deep ecologists critical
Biocentrism
value of non-human nature
4 basic components (taylor)
1. humans and other beings are of equal level of membership on earth.
2. interdependence between ecosystems.
3. each living being is a teleological center of life
4. humans are not superior
Deep ecology
Ecological philosophy that recognizes inherent worth of being aside from utility.
nature is ontologically independent.
coined by Arne Naess attempting to describe the deeper more spiritual approach to nature.
goes beyond factual science
criticisms: misanthropic, western imperialism, what to do when vital interests come into conflict, too abstract.
Land ethic
expansion of ethics to include non human members of the biotic community.
An action is right when it promotes the integrity, stability, and beauty of the land and wrong when it does otherwise.
Individuals are members of a community.
Biocentric individualism
all living beings have intrinsic value, against the objection that it is contrary to the average persons intuitions.
Victoria Davion
Relativism
it is not possible to make objective ethical judgments
Implications: no objective basis for praising or condemning anyone
“who and I to say who is right and who is wrong?”
Intrinsic value
A being has value of its own, independent of its usefulness to others.
Need for the concept (McShane) 1. env. problems aren’t solely scientific. 2. need to think of other ways of valuing nature 3. connection between what value we give a being and how we treat it.
Criticisms: 1. things can possess value independently of other things suggest and atomistic picture of the world. 2. commit us to a doubtful picture of the world. 3. unnecessary, we do not need to work up a theory to show importance.
Speciesism
The view that one’s own species is superior to all others and is alone worthy of moral consideration.
necessary condition
a condition that, if lacking, guaranteed that a statement is false or that something won’t occur.
Ethics
Consist of the general beliefs, attitudes, or standards that guide customary behavior; the scholarly study of morality.
Morality
A behavioral system that regulates individual behavior in order to facilitate social cooperation.
Abilities and dispositions necessary for morality: sympathy, empathy, generosity, ability to control behavior, suppress impulses and desires, and do what we have god reason to do.
challenges: amoralism, theism, relativism
utilitarianism
overall good for the greatest number of people
critiques: difficulty quantifying qualitative goods, justice/rights, backward looking and reasoning.
Kantian ethics
we can be held responsible only for the things we can control.
critiques: 1. so long as I am treating people correctly, no ethical basis exists to evaluate the choices I make. 2. greatest challenge is to specify rights claims 3. no account of what is good, valuable or worthy. consumption is no better than being ecologically sound if no wrong is done.
Subject of a life
to be able to be a conscious being with a welfare that is important to oneself independent of one’s usefulness to others.
Inherent, not instrumental value
Tom Regan
Naturalistic fallacy
assume that what we value is what we should value
Divine Command Theory
is a thing right because the Gods command it, or do the Gods command it because it is right?
In opposition to moral relativism
criticisms: implies that morality is based on God’s whim, calling God “good” makes no sense, implies humans are morally blind and we rely on God’s knowledge.
Divine Command Theory
is a thing right because the Gods command it, or do the Gods command it because it is right?
In opposition to moral relativism
criticisms: implies that morality is based on God’s whim, calling God “good” makes no sense, implies humans are morally blind and we rely on God’s knowledge.
Principle of utility
one ought to do that which maximizes the good and minimizes the bad. Balance of pleasure over pain.
Instrumental value
value is a function of how it might be used by others or what it might mean to others.
Radical speciesism
morally considerable to treat animals in any fashion
Van de Veer
Similar to the view of Decartes that animals were mere automata
moral implications: no objections to torturing an animal simply to do it.
not speciesist because it doesn’t weigh interest of other species at all.
Basic interest
necessary for functioning in a minimally adequate way
interest sensitive speciesism
when there is a conflict interest between an animal and a human, it is morally permissable so to act that an interest of the animal is suboordinated for the sake of promoting like interest of a human
Depends on whether the conflicting interest is basic or not.
criticisms: permits evident discrimination of humans (caged bird as pet), puts all non humans in the same category.
Two factor egalitarianism
when there is an interspecies conflict between A and B 1. sacrifice the interest of A to promote a like interest of B if A lacks significant psychological capacities possessed by B 2. sacrifice a basic interest of A to promote serous interest of B. ” ” 3. sacrifice the peripheral interest to promote more basic interest if the beings are similar with respect to psychological capacity.
Species Egalitarianism
when there is a conflict of interest between humans and animals, it is morally permissible to subordinate the more peripheral to the more basic interest but not otherwise.
Extreme speciesism
when there is an interspecies conflict, it is morally permissible to act that a basic interest of the animal is subordinated for the sake of promoting even a peripheral interest of a human being.
When there is not an interest conflict, it will promote animal interest.
Peripheral interest
necessary for the individual to thrive
Extreme speciesism
when there is an interspecies conflict, it is morally permissible to act that a basic interest of the animal is subordinated for the sake of promoting even a peripheral interest of a human being.
When there is not an interest conflict, it will promote animal interest.
Moral agent
free and rational, able to do right and wrong
self realization
a process through which people come to understand themselves as existing through interconnectedness with the rest of nature.
biocentric equality
the recognition that all organisms and beings are equally members of an interconnected whole and have equal intrinsic value.
Ethical holism
right and wrong are a function of the well being of the entire community, not the well being of individuals alone.
amoralism
right and wrong do not exist.
moral patient
due moral consideration. unable to formulate and act on the basis of moral principles and act on the basis of moral principles, unable to do right and wrong.
Meta ethics
nature of moral language
“this is right”
teleological center of a life
an entity whose world can be view from the perspective of its life.
Ecosophy
a particular attempt to formulate an alternative worldview.
Sentience
the capacity to suffer and/ or experience enjoyment
personhood
persons are aware of the world in which they are a part of.
personhood does not necessarily mean being human.
3 approaches: humanistic, perfectionist, interactive.
interactive approach
the capacity to interact with others that forms the grounds for personhood.
supported by Aaltola
perfectionist approach
perfectionist capacities refer to capacities which are highly valued and one should excel in.
categorical imperative
fundamental ethical duty
act only in those ways that all rational beings would find acceptable.
social ecology
connection between domination of nature and social hierarchies
root in marxist principles
Ecofeminism
connection between the domination of nature and the domination of women
cost benefit analysis
we ought to do what which maximizes benefit and minimizes cost
logic of domination
a logical structure of argumentation that “justifies” unjustified domination and subordination keeps “downs” down.
Provides moral premise that superiority justifies domination.
Christopher Stone

Corporate responsibility

different arguments (polestar, promissory)

Mae Wan Ho
“The Unholy Alliance”
GMO harms
Too much trust into science
Stuart Newman
“Genetically Modified Foods and the Attack of Nature”
Jonathan Rauch
“WIll Frakenfoods Save the Planet?”
positive outlook on GMOs
Biological Postmodernism
we lose sense that there is a nature independent of us
oppressive conceptual framework
one that functions to explain, maintain, and justify relationships of unjustified domination and subordination.
Hierarchal thinking, oppositional value dualisms, logic of domination.
Value dualism
dualisms that have higher status to that which has historically been defined as “male, white, rational, culture” than to that which has been identified as “female, black, emotional, nature”
Karren Warren
Value hierarchal thinking
attributes greater value to that which is up than to that which is down (men: up, women: down).
promissory argument
corporations have made promises to their share holders to maximize their profits
criticism: 1. no actual promise made 2. even if actual promise made, no opportunity to refuse terms 3. sometimes morally permissible to break promises 4. still does not mean “maximize profits by any means necessary”
Agency argument
management is an agent of the shareholders
criticism: 1. not true, shareholders don’t select directors 2. companies fight shareholders requests to be more socially responsible 3. the so called agents don’t demonstrate an interest in learning how their shareholders want them to behave.
Role Argument
certain responsibilities that are attached to ones role. may or may not have actually promised shareholders or directly made shareholders agent, but this is implied in the role- management has responsibility not to waste company assets.
Criticism: 1. advocates of corporate responsibility are not suggesting that corporations must waste assets. 2. pay more than required amount, but not so much that they violate fiduciary duties 3. only prima facie force 4. if dissatisfied the shareholder can leave/sell.
Polestar argument
acting as though they are required to maximize shareholders profits and it is best for all of us, society as a whole.
many judgments made in business are based on best guesses.
circumstances in which the law and market are not enough to keep corporations under control.
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