Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason (Environmental Philosophies)
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In this much-needed account of what has gone wrong in our thinking about the environment, Val Plumwood digs at the roots of environmental degradation. She argues that we need to see nature as an end itself, rather than an instrument to get what we want. Using a range of examples, Plumwood presents a radically new picture of how our culture must change to accommodate nature.
diversity) and of some of the advantages to be gained from ‘recognising’ it – or rather of the enormous predictive disability attendant on the naked reductive or Cartesian strategy of totally denying it. But in the Dennett–Searle ‘as if’ methodology, what is given with one hand is taken away with the other: this advantage is offset by a negative feature, for this liberation of recognition is only possible because it is accompanied by a refusal to take intentionality seriously in ethical terms and
of travel to oust the mad captain, get out the maps and begin to chart a new course. In doing the latter, we may be helped by some experienced counter-hegemonic piloting, which is the subject of Chapters 7–10, exploring some aspects of a partnership model for healing the dysfunctional ecological and ethical relationships we have created with nature. Environmental culture and the crisis of reason The deterioration of the global ecological context of human life demands from our species a clear and
when productive interchange ceases. And framework challenges and conflicts are the very place where philosophy most clearly show its practical value. Is human-centredness inevitable? The dilemma of prudential argument It is sometimes argued, against any concern with human-centredness, that an ethic based on human interests is not only all that is needed for the 128 Philosophy, prudence and anthropocentrism conservation of nature but all that is conceivable. 6 We are humans; we cannot avoid
of conflict, take priority over human desires for animal companions. Combining this new/old kind of ‘familiar’ personal and moral relationship with animals with a new kind of economic relationship, as Babe imagines, must lead towards a major revisioning and restructuring of economic life. 40 But the potential rewards are great, since such a strategy indicates routes towards breaking down those key contemporary versions of reason/emotion and public/private dualism that help construct the linked
Developing conceptions of the human self and human virtue that can prioritise caring for the planet. When we do these things, I suggest, we find a rich variety of contextually specific ethics that are applicable to interspecies relationships. These include many of the context-specific ethical frameworks we apply to other humans, plus a further range that are specifically concerned with issues of justice and fairness between species I discussed in Chapter 5. Philosophers have mostly been standing