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When queering social readers, we may result known by s findings and articles Not apply between Universities like buy Passivity, corporation, conversation inboxes and guide media. The ethics of care is the discourse that is most frequently pushed to one side. It is often said that it does not belong to public life but to family, friendship and other intimate spheres. Infringements of human rights are manifold migrants, poverty, precarious employment ; social practices are woeful in terms of the realisation of human rights and are characterised by the interests of capital and the private and particular interests of various social groups.

When it comes to values, it is not their content and message that are important but practice , in other words what we have really achieved on their basis. Can the blame for poor practices be attributed to an implementation of human rights into which specific ideological models of an atomised society are inscribed, models which cause an inadequate social reality and prevent us from creating a culture of justice and the safeguarding of human rights in society?

At least two ideological models deserve to be exposed as such an obstacle: legal logic and moral individualism. We unanimously agreed to consider as human rights and freedoms anything that is legally actionable. Human rights are therefore legally codified and the ultimate responsibility for their understanding and interpretation lies with the court.

This logic is also followed by the further legal instrumentalisation of rights in laws and other regulations at the state level and also at the level of rules within individual institutions, including in schools, in their own rules and regulations. This legal instrumentalisation of rights is, in my opinion, the origin of the incorrect perception of the role of rights in society, and precisely this perception has had numerous negative consequences.

Among other things, it has prevented a culture of human rights from establishing itself in society as the foundation of an overall social ethos applying to the whole of the life of society, in all public social practices, and also in mutual relations, in other words in private life.

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In my view, the legal codification of the content of rights implicitly means a devaluation of their value core, which also results in a loss of their ethical dimension. The ethical dimension in fact presupposes my subjective truth and responsibility towards others and the world in general. In legal codification, on the other hand, my subjective truth has no value, and until the court makes its ruling it is not clear whether, in a given case, we can talk about an infringement of a right or not.

This, however, excludes the importance of the conscience, both in motivation for action and in judging that action. This is being demonstrated with increasing frequency by numerous cases at various levels of the life of society. Making decisions on infringement of human rights is sometimes too hard a nut to crack in the sense of reaching a unanimous decision even for Constitutional Court judges, who have the ultimate competence for the protection of human rights.

Naturally, though, we cannot conclude from the numerous inconsistent and contradictory legal decisions regarding human rights that the value system of human rights is empty and that we may arbitrarily fill it over and over again with experiences and concrete cases. Inconsistent decisions can only prove the vagueness and lack of transparency of the legal code of a right, but they say nothing about its value code.

The ruling adopted by the ECHR went against an earlier ruling by a Romanian court, yet even so was not an arbitrary decision. When making its ruling, the ECHR saw in the value of privacy a new dimension that inherently belongs to the value of privacy but had previously been overlooked.

The essence of the problem lies in the fact that it took a court—and one of the highest instance—to arrive at a new understanding of the ethical in a right. How can we expect the full value core of a right to be perceived by a citizen, by a teacher or, last but not least, by a child? How then is it even possible to devise education Bildung in the spirit of human rights? Should education Bildung become the study of case law and thus be instrumentalised and lose its formative Bildung sense?

Someone who does not know that any action can be dangerous, that it is possible to evaluate it as both good and evil, will see no danger or evil anywhere, nor will they be sensitised to it. But this is not enough for the creation of a culture of human rights, since emotions, volition and sensitivity to moral action are of central importance in the development of a culture. This can only be achieved in communication and only via intersubjective interpretations based on value judgements of actions, motives and intention.

The liberal logic by which the safeguarding of rights is posited in the Constitution also contains a particular problem, namely the understanding of the relation of obligations and responsibilities of the individual and the institution. Every right implies an obligation, but the question is: whose? Merely of the institution that is supposed to protect that right or can it also trigger the universal sense of obligation of every individual towards others? In this connection, Kymlicka recapitulates the position of Sandel and Taylor when they attribute moral individualism to liberalism [ 17 ].

Moral individualism derives from the thesis that rights take precedence over all other moral concepts such as obligations, the common good, civic virtues and personal virtues. Moral individualism understands the individual as the basic unit of moral value, which means that it requires the derivation of the duties of higher units the community from obligations towards individuals. In this way, the burden of duty is essentially shifted from the individual to institutions. This is the impression created by constitutional solutions, namely human rights and fundamental freedoms are only infringed by the institutions of formal power.

This liberal logic, however, has long-term consequences in the way it understands the origin of infringements of human rights and probably contains the kernel of the views of a certain section of the public, including teachers and educators, that only citizens have rights, while institutions only have obligations, at least as far as the rights of the individual are concerned. Similar views regarding the disproportion of rights and obligations also prevail among those working in education.

This opinion, then, is not the arbitrary view of those affected, but rather has its theoretical basis in the communitarian critique of the liberal model of moral individualism, which has written itself into human rights, not into their nature, but into their implementation in the legal order. The liberal discourse and moral individualism simply cannot be accepted as universal in pedagogical reflection on the educational aims and educational concept of the public school.

This platform is too narrow for education Bildung for values, because it forgets the sense of community and the quality of interpersonal relations between people in everyday interactions. We have shown how awareness of this issue is strategically important for the school, in particular, for the planning and implementation of the concept of education. Yet this question does not clarify all the consequences, including some significant consequences, that moral individualism has for the school.

More important for the recognition of weakness of doctrine of moral individualism than the question of who has rights and who has obligations is the question of whether important rights, values and virtues exist in society that are insufficiently recognised as a result of liberal discourse. The consequence of this is that individual rights take precedence over social rights in society. An even more radical conclusion is possible. This legal structure even negates social rights as rights, since it refers to them as socio-economic relations, in other words as an economic category.

In this way, liberal ideology destroys the balance between human individuality and sociality. If we follow the communitarian critique, by adopting the principal of the primacy of rights, liberalism places other moral concepts duty, common good into the background [ 17 ]. A hierarchical relationship is established between individuality and sociality, the consequence of which is that sociality and social rights are necessarily marginalised in society.

Not only that, but virtues that are important for the social society, and solidarity is in first place here, become mere ideals to be used for educational purposes or in the charitable campaigns of civil society and the public media. Yet politics, faithful to the logic of economising and balancing public finances, first intervenes in the social sphere. It therefore also has a constitutional basis in the fact that social rights are not rights but socio-economic relations.

This empowers its moral position, since it does not infringe constitutional social rights but rather, as some nonchalantly put it, is merely coordinating economic and social relations with real possibilities. In accordance with the liberal attitude towards individual or social human rights, the state pushes social issues to the margins and is not capable of eliminating even its own poverty. The marginalisation of the social and the preference given to individual rights is in essence a class issue.

The state based on the rule of law plainly protects above all the category of individual human rights we know how this works in practice , so when we talk about justice in society, references to the rule of law are an increasingly frequent mantra, while nothing is heard about the social state. The hierarchy of the individual and the social is not theoretically justified, not least because it is impossible to realise individual rights in a socially unjust society, just as it is impossible to create a just society if the rights of the individual are not guaranteed.

Extreme communitarians, among whom Kymlicka also includes Marxists, would claim that in a true community the principles of justice are unnecessary and that justice is merely a remedial virtue [ 17 ]. It is thus only relevant in society because of the mistakes caused by an unjust social order. Some remarkable illustrations of this can also be found in former Yugoslav education policy. For example, the principle according to which only a unified common school is a fair school, while all forms of differentiation, heterogenisation and individualisation are unfair.

On the other hand, pedagogy and psychology critically observed that the unified school cannot be fair because it neglects the individual and functions as a Procrustean bed. This was a mask used to excuse infringements of human rights. Kymlicka establishes an interesting dynamic of historical development between liberalism and communitarianism. When it comes to school and education Bildung , the hierarchy established by liberalism between individuality and sociality is a significant obstacle to the development of civic virtues and the moral image of the young generation. Just as education subordinated only to the values of communitarianism, in other words only to the common good, would be one-sided, so education that only emphasises the principle of autonomy and individual freedom while ignoring communitarian values, the common good, equality, brotherhood and the coexistence of all people and coexistence with the environment and nature is one-sided education.

Thus, the liberal libertarian understanding of human rights cannot represent that universality that is supposed to provide the holistic education Bildung of the human being. It falls short in value terms when it comes to defining the aims of education. Social rights and the spirit of common good represent other obligations and virtues that cannot be derived from human rights as implemented in the legal order.

From a systemically ethical point of view, it would be disastrous for the school to neglect or abandon the development of these values and virtues that encompass areas such as, as Galston puts it: social, economic, political and general social virtues. We tend to put solidarity in first place among fundamental social virtues, while in the opinion of numerous authors [ 21 , 22 ] these also include virtues such as empowerment, loyalty but not servility and courage.

In the economic sphere, they include virtues such as understanding social systems, knowledge of the frameworks of public finance, enterprise, technological innovation, knowledge about the ways in which crises develop and function, activity within various trends of economic movements and labour ethics; political virtues, on the other hand, include, for example, sensitivity to the state of rights in society, knowledge of the constitutional system, social participation and so on. The ethics of care could be referred to as the third ethical force to develop in the twentieth century alongside the ethics of justice and communitarian ethics.

Perhaps H. And, let us add, without referring to criteria that would be applied in the form of moral norms from outside. As it is impossible to reconcile liberalism and communitarianism, the ethics of justice and the ethics of care are irreconcilable [ 24 ]. This means that some other dimension appears in the regulation of private and, above all, intimate relationships, a dimension not encompassed by human rights. It is the sphere of values that cannot be characterised as just or unjust: friendship, love, respect, compassion and responsibility.

Hence the natural equality they discuss is of fathers as representatives of families, and the social contract they discuss governs relations between families. Today, we have gone beyond the view that was voiced when the ethics of care first emerged, namely that it is an erroneous moral discourse in that it allows a separation of gender-divided moral perception and gender-divided morals. We have also gone beyond the opinion that the ethics of justice should apply to the public sphere and the ethics of care to the private sphere.

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In contrast to such a division, we can accept the opinion of Carol Gilligan and numerous feminists that the ethics of care, though characteristic of private relationships, also has a public meaning and should also be taken into account in public life [ 24 ]. Theorists of the ethics of care draw attention to the importance of values or virtues that have a more emotional and intellectual basis, in contrast to the predominantly rational virtues of libertarian and communitarian ethics. Another of the fundamental virtues is recognition of the other, the different, as a human being.

Recognition of the other is, in relation to every human being, something more fundamental, more elemental, which enables or establishes a relationship as a human relationship. This is the acceptance of the other into a relationship, even though in a given moment we may hate them or resist them, though they fill us with compassion and are generally different from us. Recognition is the basis for heterogenisation, the opposite of domination and homogenisation.

This is recognition and acknowledgement of the other as a human being. Teachers play an important role in combining different ethical discourses in educational practice. The teacher must be capable of ensuring, as a mediator in communication , the interweaving of different value levels justice, solidarity, recognition of the other. The teacher must organise educational communication in such a way that all three ethical discourses are constantly interwoven in it.

At the same time, the teacher must also establish the awareness that the decision taken by an individual is their own and that they must take responsibility for it. Whatever decision it is, they must stand behind it. Previous consideration of values, particularly the values that are inscribed into human rights, has shown that at the level of implementation, without taking context into account, the content of no value or right is self-evident, and none has an a priori theoretical foundation.

The true meaning of a value is comprehensible only in public discourse and not in my inner, internalised and subjective reflections that are limited unto themselves. Even for this reason, it is possible to doubt that education Bildung as internalisation could be effective. Internalisation suggests the passivity of the subject, an inner predeterminedness that, from the point of view of the goals of developing the autonomous subject, is anachronistic. We simply no longer expect the school to educate a biddable child. The fragility of human affairs, as H. Arendt puts it, requires an engaged approach, critical reflection and great sensitivity to social contexts [ 9 ].

The teacher must, then, be capable of guiding open moral communication. I have called this differentiated moral communication. It is important for the public school to communicate to every child, in the process of differentiated moral communication, an intellectual and emotional experience of the difference of value discourses, in order to develop their capacity for moral judgement and teach them how to subordinate their affective moral inclination to rational moral judgement while taking into account the specific social context with all its emotional charges.

The public school must endeavour to realise all the traditional aims of moral development, i. How do we conceive the interweaving of different value levels in differentiated moral communication? First of all, we emphasise that differentiated moral communication is not moral instruction and far less a moral lesson. Public reasoning, communicative rationality or public reasonableness can be a successful methodical tool within pedagogical communication.

This activity takes the form of conversation about all the requirements, positions and views, and also all the actions, that relate to the rights of other human beings.

In public discourse, students should develop the ability to judge a concrete action, demand, belief and position from the point of view of different ethical discourses: They must present their demand, position, view, action and dispute regarding another in a manner that is comprehensible to others a reasonable definition of their ethical position.

They must establish the justice of their demand in such a way that any individual in the same position would be entitled to make the same demand the principle of the universality of rights. They must establish that the quality of interpersonal relations will not be affected the principle of the ethics of care.

They must indicate the impact on the community and the common good the principle of sensus communis. Technically speaking, this is a method of discourse that has long been known in didactics as the Socratic method or heuristic style. Yet there is a small but significant difference. Socrates knew the truth and believed that anyone could arrive at the same truth by coming to know themselves. The mediator, on the other hand, even if he or she knows the truth, must lead to the discussion in such a way as not to influence the decisions taken by the participants.

This is the obligation of the educational concept of public schooling, since otherwise it does not prepare people to face the difficulties of life and abandons them to cruel destiny. Whether this will result in the child harmonising moral judgement, emotions, will and behaviour with the common principles that he or she should follow is an entirely different question. There is simply no guarantee that differentiated moral communication will ensure the lasting and emotionally full moral activity of the individual. The school contributes its part if it develops the ability to publicly confront arguments and a culture of fact-checking , which is above all an important form of education against the manipulations to which the public is increasingly exposed.

Today, various centres of power address the individual with fake news or encourage artificial needs of all kinds. Faced with all these influences, human choices are becoming increasingly limited, so the development of a culture of fact-checking is an increasingly important task in the education of young people. The analogy of communication also applies when we think about younger children, including those of preschool age. Callicott These "relationalist" developments of deep ecology are, however, criticized by some feminist theorists.

The idea of nature as part of oneself, one might argue, could justify the continued exploitation of nature instead. For one is presumably more entitled to treat oneself in whatever ways one likes than to treat another independent agent in whatever ways one likes. Meanwhile, some third-world critics accused deep ecology of being elitist in its attempts to preserve wilderness experiences for only a select group of economically and socio-politically well-off people. The Indian writer Ramachandra Guha , for instance, depicts the activities of many western-based conservation groups as a new form of cultural imperialism, aimed at securing converts to conservationism cf.

Bookchin and Brennan a. Finally, in other critiques, deep ecology is portrayed as having an inconsistent utopian vision see Anker and Witoszek Broadly speaking, a feminist issue is any that contributes in some way to understanding the oppression of women. By the mid s, feminist writers had raised the issue of whether patriarchal modes of thinking encouraged not only widespread inferiorizing and colonizing of women, but also of people of colour, animals and nature.

Sheila Collins , for instance, argued that male-dominated culture or patriarchy is supported by four interlocking pillars: sexism, racism, class exploitation, and ecological destruction.


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Emphasizing the importance of feminism to the environmental movement and various other liberation movements, some writers, such as Ynestra King a and b , argue that the domination of women by men is historically the original form of domination in human society, from which all other hierarchies—of rank, class, and political power—flow. For instance, human exploitation of nature may be seen as a manifestation and extension of the oppression of women, in that it is the result of associating nature with the female, which had been already inferiorized and oppressed by the male-dominating culture.

But within the plurality of feminist positions, other writers, such as Val Plumwood , understand the oppression of women as only one of the many parallel forms of oppression sharing and supported by a common ideological structure, in which one party the colonizer, whether male, white or human uses a number of conceptual and rhetorical devices to privilege its interests over that of the other party the colonized: whether female, people of colour, or animals. Facilitated by a common structure, seemingly diverse forms of oppression can mutually reinforce each other Warren , , , Cheney , and Plumwood These patterns of thinking and conceptualizing the world, many feminist theorists argue, also nourish and sustain other forms of chauvinism, including, human-chauvinism i.

Furthermore, under dualism all the first items in these contrasting pairs are assimilated with each other, and all the second items are likewise linked with each other. For example, the male is seen to be associated with the rational, active, creative, Cartesian human mind, and civilized, orderly, transcendent culture; whereas the female is regarded as tied to the emotional, passive, determined animal body, and primitive, disorderly, immanent nature.

These interlocking dualisms are not just descriptive dichotomies, according to the feminists, but involve a prescriptive privileging of one side of the opposed items over the other. Dualism confers superiority to everything on the male side, but inferiority to everything on the female side. The problem with dualistic and hierarchical modes of thinking, however, is not just that that they are epistemically unreliable. It is not just that the dominating party often falsely sees the dominated party as lacking or possessing the allegedly superior or inferior qualities, or that the dominated party often internalizes false stereotypes of itself given by its oppressors, or that stereotypical thinking often overlooks salient and important differences among individuals.

More important, according to feminist analyses, the very premise of prescriptive dualism—the valuing of attributes of one polarized side and the devaluing of those of the other, the idea that domination and oppression can be justified by appealing to attributes like masculinity, rationality, being civilized or developed, etc. Feminism represents a radical challenge for environmental thinking, politics, and traditional social ethical perspectives.

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It promises to link environmental questions with wider social problems concerning various kinds of discrimination and exploitation, and fundamental investigations of human psychology. However, whether there are conceptual, causal or merely contingent connections among the different forms of oppression and liberation remains a contested issue see Green However, because of the varieties of, and disagreements among, feminist theories, the label may be too wide to be informative and has generally fallen from use.

An often overlooked source of ecological ideas is the work of the neo-Marxist Frankfurt School of critical theory founded by Max Horkheimer and Theodore Adorno Horkheimer and Adorno At the root of this alienation, they argue, is a narrow positivist conception of rationality—which sees rationality as an instrument for pursuing progress, power and technological control, and takes observation, measurement and the application of purely quantitative methods to be capable of solving all problems.

Such a positivistic view of science combines determinism with optimism. Natural processes as well as human activities are seen to be predictable and manipulable. Nature and, likewise, human nature is no longer mysterious, uncontrollable, or fearsome. Instead, it is reduced to an object strictly governed by natural laws, which therefore can be studied, known, and employed to our benefit.

By promising limitless knowledge and power, the positivism of science and technology not only removes our fear of nature, the critical theorists argue, but also destroys our sense of awe and wonder towards it. The progress in knowledge and material well-being may not be a bad thing in itself, where the consumption and control of nature is a necessary part of human life. However, the critical theorists argue that the positivistic disenchantment of natural things and, likewise, of human beings—because they too can be studied and manipulated by science disrupts our relationship with them, encouraging the undesirable attitude that they are nothing more than things to be probed, consumed and dominated.

To remedy such an alienation, the project of Horkheimer and Adorno is to replace the narrow positivistic and instrumentalist model of rationality with a more humanistic one, in which the values of the aesthetic, moral, sensuous and expressive aspects of human life play a central part. Thus, their aim is not to give up our rational faculties or powers of analysis and logic. Rather, the ambition is to arrive at a dialectical synthesis between Romanticism and Enlightenment, to return to anti-deterministic values of freedom, spontaneity and creativity.

Not only do we stop seeing nature as primarily, or simply, an object of consumption, we are also able to be directly and spontaneously acquainted with nature without interventions from our rational faculties. The re-enchantment of the world through aesthetic experience, he argues, is also at the same time a re-enchantment of human lives and purposes.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the radical attempt to purge the concept of nature from eco-critical work meets with success. On the other hand, the new animists have been much inspired by the serious way in which some indigenous peoples placate and interact with animals, plants and inanimate things through ritual, ceremony and other practices. According to the new animists, the replacement of traditional animism the view that personalized souls are found in animals, plants, and other material objects by a form of disenchanting positivism directly leads to an anthropocentric perspective, which is accountable for much human destructiveness towards nature.

In a disenchanted world, there is no meaningful order of things or events outside the human domain, and there is no source of sacredness or dread of the sort felt by those who regard the natural world as peopled by divinities or demons Stone When a forest is no longer sacred, there are no spirits to be placated and no mysterious risks associated with clear-felling it.

A disenchanted nature is no longer alive. It commands no respect, reverence or love.

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It is nothing but a giant machine, to be mastered to serve human purposes. The new animists argue for reconceptualizing the boundary between persons and non-persons. Whether the notion that a mountain or a tree is to be regarded as a person is taken literally or not, the attempt to engage with the surrounding world as if it consists of other persons might possibly provide the basis for a respectful attitude to nature see Harvey for a popular account of the new animism. If disenchantment is a source of environmental problems and destruction, then the new animism can be regarded as attempting to re-enchant, and help to save, nature.

In her work, Freya Mathews has tried to articulate a version of animism or panpsychism that captures ways in which the world not just nature contains many kinds of consciousness and sentience. Instead of bulldozing away old suburbs and derelict factories, the synergistic panpsychist sees these artefacts as themselves part of the living cosmos, hence part of what is to be respected. Likewise, instead of trying to eliminate feral or exotic plants and animals, and restore environments to some imagined pristine state, ways should be found—wherever possible—to promote synergies between the newcomers and the older native populations in ways that maintain ecological flows and promote the further unfolding and developing of ecological processes Mathews Environmentalism, on his view, is a social movement, and the problems it confronts are social problems.

While Bookchin is prepared, like Horkheimer and Adorno, to regard first nature as an aesthetic and sensuous marvel, he regards our intervention in it as necessary. He suggests that we can choose to put ourselves at the service of natural evolution, to help maintain complexity and diversity, diminish suffering and reduce pollution. While Bookchin is more of a technological optimist than Mumford, both writers have inspired a regional turn in environmental thinking. Bioregionalism gives regionalism an environmental twist. This is the view that natural features should provide the defining conditions for places of community, and that secure and satisfying local lives are led by those who know a place, have learned its lore and who adapt their lifestyle to its affordances by developing its potential within ecological limits.

Such a life, the bioregionalists argue, will enable people to enjoy the fruits of self-liberation and self-development see the essays in List , and the book-length treatment in Thayer , for an introduction to bioregional thought. However, critics have asked why natural features should significant in defining the places in which communities are to be built, and have puzzled over exactly which natural features these should be—geological, ecological, climatic, hydrological, and so on see Brennan b.

If relatively small, bioregional communities are to be home to flourishing human societies, then a question also arises over the nature of the laws and punishments that will prevail in them, and also of their integration into larger regional and global political and economic groupings. For anarchists and other critics of the predominant social order, a return to self-governing and self-sufficient regional communities is often depicted as liberating and refreshing.

But for the skeptics, the worry remains that the bioregional vision is politically over-optimistic and is open to the establishment of illiberal, stifling and undemocratic communities. Further, given its emphasis on local self-sufficiency and the virtue of life in small communities, a question arises over whether bioregionalism is workable in an overcrowded planet. Deep ecology, feminism, and social ecology have had a considerable impact on the development of political positions in regard to the environment.

Feminist analyses have often been welcomed for the psychological insight they bring to several social, moral and political problems. There is, however, considerable unease about the implications of critical theory, social ecology and some varieties of deep ecology and animism. A further suggestion is that there is a need to reassess traditional theories such as virtue ethics, which has its origins in ancient Greek philosophy see the following section within the context of a form of stewardship similar to that earlier endorsed by Passmore see Barry If this last claim is correct, then the radical activist need not, after all, look for philosophical support in radical, or countercultural, theories of the sort deep ecology, feminism, bioregionalism and social ecology claim to be but see Zimmerman Although environmental ethicists often try to distance themselves from the anthropocentrism embedded in traditional ethical views Passmore , Norton are exceptions , they also quite often draw their theoretical resources from traditional ethical systems and theories.

Consider the following two basic moral questions: 1 What kinds of thing are intrinsically valuable, good or bad? From this perspective, answers to question 2 are informed by answers to question 1. As the utilitarian focus is the balance of pleasure and pain as such, the question of to whom a pleasure or pain belongs is irrelevant to the calculation and assessment of the rightness or wrongness of actions. Hence, the eighteenth century utilitarian Jeremy Bentham , and now Peter Singer , have argued that the interests of all the sentient beings i.

Singer regards the animal liberation movement as comparable to the liberation movements of women and people of colour. Unlike the environmental philosophers who attribute intrinsic value to the natural environment and its inhabitants, Singer and utilitarians in general attribute intrinsic value to the experience of pleasure or interest satisfaction as such, not to the beings who have the experience.

Similarly, for the utilitarian, non-sentient objects in the environment such as plant species, rivers, mountains, and landscapes, all of which are the objects of moral concern for environmentalists, are of no intrinsic but at most instrumental value to the satisfaction of sentient beings see Singer , Ch. Furthermore, because right actions, for the utilitarian, are those that maximize the overall balance of interest satisfaction over frustration, practices such as whale-hunting and the killing of an elephant for ivory, which cause suffering to non-human animals, might turn out to be right after all: such practices might produce considerable amounts of interest-satisfaction for human beings, which, on the utilitarian calculation, outweigh the non-human interest-frustration involved.

As the result of all the above considerations, it is unclear to what extent a utilitarian ethic can also be an environmental ethic. This point may not so readily apply to a wider consequentialist approach, which attributes intrinsic value not only to pleasure or satisfaction, but also to various objects and processes in the natural environment.

Deontological ethical theories, in contrast, maintain that whether an action is right or wrong is for the most part independent of whether its consequences are good or bad. From the deontologist perspective, there are several distinct moral rules or duties e. When asked to justify an alleged moral rule, duty or its corresponding right, deontologists may appeal to the intrinsic value of those beings to whom it applies.

We have, in particular, a prima facie moral duty not to harm them. Regan maintains that certain practices such as sport or commercial hunting, and experimentation on animals violate the moral right of intrinsically valuable animals to respectful treatment. Such practices, he argues, are intrinsically wrong regardless of whether or not some better consequences ever flow from them.

Exactly which animals have intrinsic value and therefore the moral right to respectful treatment? To be such a subject is a sufficient though not necessary condition for having intrinsic value, and to be a subject-of-a-life involves, among other things, having sense-perceptions, beliefs, desires, motives, memory, a sense of the future, and a psychological identity over time. Some authors have extended concern for individual well-being further, arguing for the intrinsic value of organisms achieving their own good, whether those organisms are capable of consciousness or not.

Furthermore, Taylor maintains that the intrinsic value of wild living things generates a prima facie moral duty on our part to preserve or promote their goods as ends in themselves, and that any practices which treat those beings as mere means and thus display a lack of respect for them are intrinsically wrong. A more recent and biologically detailed defence of the idea that living things have representations and goals and hence have moral worth is found in Agar Attfield also endorses a form of consequentialism which takes into consideration, and attempts to balance, the many and possibly conflicting goods of different living things also see Varner for a defense of biocentric individualism with affinities to both consequentialist and deontological approaches.

For instance, even if HIV has a good of its own this does not mean that we ought to assign any positive moral weight to the realization of that good. More recently, the distinction between these two traditional approaches has taken its own specific form of development in environmental philosophy. Instead of pitting conceptions of value against conceptions of rights, it has been suggested that there may be two different conceptions of intrinsic value in play in discussion about environmental good and evil.

One the one side, there is the intrinsic value of states of affairs that are to be promoted - and this is the focus of the consequentialist thinkers. On the other deontological hand there is the intrinsic values of entities to be respected see Bradley , McShane These two different foci for the notion of intrinsic value still provide room for fundamental argument between deontologists and consequentialist to continue, albeit in a somewhat modified form. Note that the ethics of animal liberation or animal rights and biocentrism are both individualistic in that their various moral concerns are directed towards individuals only—not ecological wholes such as species, populations, biotic communities, and ecosystems.

None of these is sentient, a subject-of-a-life, or a teleological-center-of-life, but the preservation of these collective entities is a major concern for many environmentalists. Moreover, the goals of animal liberationists, such as the reduction of animal suffering and death, may conflict with the goals of environmentalists. For example, the preservation of the integrity of an ecosystem may require the culling of feral animals or of some indigenous animal populations that threaten to destroy fragile habitats. So there are disputes about whether the ethics of animal liberation is a proper branch of environmental ethics see Callicott , , Sagoff , Jamieson , Crisp and Varner Criticizing the individualistic approach in general for failing to accommodate conservation concerns for ecological wholes, J.

A straightforward implication of this version of the land ethic is that an individual member of the biotic community ought to be sacrificed whenever that is needed for the protection of the holistic good of the community. For instance, Callicott maintains that if culling a white-tailed deer is necessary for the protection of the holistic biotic good, then it is a land-ethical requirement to do so. But, to be consistent, the same point also applies to human individuals because they are also members of the biotic community. Tom Regan , p.


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Under pressure from the charge of ecofascism and misanthropy, Callicott Ch. To further distance himself from the charge of ecofascism, Callicott introduced explicit principles which prioritize obligations to human communities over those to natural ones. As he put it:. It remains to be seen if this position escapes the charges of misanthropy and totalitarianism laid against earlier holistic and relational theories of value. This, he proposes, is a reason for thinking that individual natural entities should not be treated as mere instruments, and thus a reason for assigning them intrinsic value.

Furthermore, he argues that the same moral point applies to the case of natural ecosystems, to the extent that they lack intrinsic function. Carrying the project of attributing intrinsic value to nature to its ultimate form, Robert Elliot argues that naturalness itself is a property in virtue of possessing which all natural things, events, and states of affairs, attain intrinsic value. Furthermore, Elliot argues that even a consequentialist, who in principle allows the possibility of trading off intrinsic value from naturalness for intrinsic value from other sources, could no longer justify such kind of trade-off in reality.

This is because the reduction of intrinsic value due to the depletion of naturalness on earth, according to him, has reached such a level that any further reduction of it could not be compensated by any amount of intrinsic value generated in other ways, no matter how great it is. Katz, on the other hand, argues that a restored nature is really just an artifact designed and created for the satisfaction of human ends, and that the value of restored environments is merely instrumental. However, some critics have pointed out that advocates of moral dualism between the natural and the artifactual run the risk of diminishing the value of human life and culture, and fail to recognize that the natural environments interfered with by humans may still have morally relevant qualities other than pure naturalness see Lo Yet, as Bernard Williams points out Williams , we may, paradoxically, need to use our technological powers to retain a sense of something not being in our power.

An important message underlying the debate, perhaps, is that even if ecological restoration is achievable, it might have been better to have left nature intact in the first place. Given the significance of the concept of naturalness in these debates, it is perhaps surprising that there has been relatively little analysis of that concept itself in environmental thought. In his pioneering work on the ethics of the environment, Holmes Rolston has worked with a number of different conceptions of the natural see Brennan and Lo , pp.

Indeed, the richness of the language of virtues, and the emphasis on moral character, is sometimes cited as a reason for exploring a virtues-based approach to the complex and always-changing questions of sustainability and environmental care Hill , Wensveen , Sandler One question central to virtue ethics is what the moral reasons are for acting one way or another. For instance, from the perspective of virtue ethics, kindness and loyalty would be moral reasons for helping a friend in hardship. From the perspective of virtue ethics, the motivation and justification of actions are both inseparable from the character traits of the acting agent.

Furthermore, unlike deontology or consequentialism the moral focus of which is other people or states of the world, one central issue for virtue ethics is how to live a flourishing human life, this being a central concern of the moral agent himself or herself. The connection between morality and psychology is another core subject of investigation for virtue ethics. It is sometimes suggested that human virtues, which constitute an important aspect of a flourishing human life, must be compatible with human needs and desires, and perhaps also sensitive to individual affection and temperaments.

As its central focus is human flourishing as such, virtue ethics may seem unavoidably anthropocentric and unable to support a genuine moral concern for the non-human environment. Despite the variety of positions in environmental ethics developed over the last thirty years, they have focused mainly on issues concerned with wilderness and the reasons for its preservation see Callicott and Nelson for a collection of essays on the ideas and moral significance of wilderness.

The importance of wilderness experience to the human psyche has been emphasized by many environmental philosophers. Likewise, the critical theorists believe that aesthetic appreciation of nature has the power to re-enchant human life. An argument by Bryan Norton draws attention to an analogy with music.

Someone exposed for the first time to a new musical genre may undergo a transformation in musical preferences, tastes and values as a result of the experience Norton Such a transformation can affect their other preferences and desires too, in both direct and indirect ways see Sarkar , ch.

What Does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Mean Today?

By contrast to the focus on wild places, relatively little attention has been paid to the built environment, although this is the one in which most people spend most of their time. In post-war Britain, for example, cheaply constructed new housing developments were often poor replacements for traditional communities. They have been associated with lower amounts of social interaction and increased crime compared with the earlier situation.

The destruction of highly functional high-density traditional housing, indeed, might be compared with the destruction of highly diverse ecosystems and biotic communities. Some philosophical theories about natural environments and objects have potential to be extended to cover built environments and non-natural objects of several sorts see King , Light , Palmer , while Fox aims to include both built and natural environments in the scope of a single ethical theory.

Certainly there are many parallels between natural and artificial domains: for example, many of the conceptual problems involved in discussing the restoration of natural objects also appear in the parallel context of restoring human-made objects. Thus, a new range of moral and political problems open up, including the environmental cost of tourist access to wilderness areas, and ways in which limited access could be arranged to areas of natural beauty and diversity, while maintaining the individual freedoms central to liberal democracies.

Lovers of wilderness sometimes consider the high human populations in some developing countries as a key problem underlying the environmental crisis. But such a view has been criticized for seeming to reveal a degree of misanthropy, directed at those human beings least able to protect and defend themselves see Attfield , Brennan a. Can such an apparently elitist sort of wilderness ethics ever be democratised?

These questions so far lack convincing answers. For those in the richer countries, for instance, engaging in outdoor recreations usually involves the motor car. Car dependency, however, is at the heart of many environmental problems, a key factor in urban pollution, while at the same time central to the economic and military activities of many nations and corporations, for example securing and exploiting oil reserves.

In an increasingly crowded industrialised world, the answers to such problems are pressing. Any adequate study of this intertwined set of problems must involve interdisciplinary collaboration among philosophers and theorists in the social as well as the natural sciences. Connections between environmental destruction, unequal resource consumption, poverty and the global economic order have been discussed by political scientists, development theorists, geographers and economists as well as by philosophers.

Links between economics and environmental ethics are particularly well established. Work by Mark Sagoff , for instance, has played a major part in bringing the two fields together. We pay extra for travel insurance to cover the cost of cancellation, illness, or lost baggage. Such actions are economically rational. They provide us with some compensation in case of loss.

No-one, however, would regard insurance payments as replacing lost limbs, a loved one or even the joys of a cancelled vacation. So it is for nature, according to Sagoff. We can put dollar values on a stand of timber, a reef, a beach, a national park. We can measure the travel costs, the money spent by visitors, the real estate values, the park fees and all the rest.

If Sagoff is right, cost-benefit analysis of the kind mentioned in section 5 above cannot be a basis for an ethic of sustainability any more than for an ethic of biodiversity. The potentially misleading appeal to economic reason used to justify the expansion of the corporate sector has also come under critical scrutiny by globalisation theorists see Korten These critiques do not aim to eliminate economics from environmental thinking; rather, they resist any reductive, and strongly anthropocentric, tendency to believe that all social and environmental problems are fundamentally or essentially economic.

Other interdisciplinary approaches link environmental ethics with biology, policy studies, public administration, political theory, cultural history, post-colonial theory, literature, geography, and human ecology for some examples, see Norton, Hutchins, Stevens, Maple , Shrader-Frechette , Gruen and Jamieson eds.

The future development of environmental ethics depend on these, and other interdisciplinary synergies, as much as on its anchorage within philosophy. This report noted the increasing tide of evidence that planetary systems vital to supporting life on earth were under strain. The key question it raised is whether it is equitable to sacrifice options for future well-being in favour of supporting current lifestyles, especially the comfortable, and sometimes lavish, forms of life enjoyed in the rich countries.

In keeping with the non-anthropocentric focus of much environmental philosophy, a care for sustainability and biodiversity can embrace a care for opportunities available to non-human living things. In face of increasing evidence that planetary systems vital to life-support were under strain, the concept of sustainable development is constructed in the report to encourage certain globally coordinated directions and types of economic and social development.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:. Thus the goals of economic and social development must be defined in terms of sustainability in all countries—developed or developing, market-oriented or centrally planned. Interpretations will vary, but must share certain general features and must flow from a consensus on the basic concept of sustainable development and on a broad strategic framework for achieving it.

WCED , Ch. Provided the flow of such goods and services does not reduce the capacity of the capital itself to maintain its productivity, the use of the systems in question is regarded as sustainable. There are clear philosophical, political and economic precursors to the Brundtland concept of sustainability.