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FSU PHI 2620 - Environmental Ethics

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PHI 2620: Environmental Ethics1/11• Ethics: study of goodnesso Related to the study of right actiono i.e., if trees have value, there are reasons to not chop it down• Applied Ethics: the ethics of any particular issu• Metaethics: moralso Can differ from person to person• Moral psychology: motivations for acting the ways that we do• Environmental Ethicso We affect nature Role of improving technology Role of increasing populationo Describing the value of nature  Resources People’s practices and behavioro Prescribing a response• What do I think?o Is it consistent?o Am I leaving anything out?o What or who counts morally?• Indirect vs. direct moral considerability ^things have value in relation to me or by themselves1/14• Palmer has three key pointso What is valuable and why? Instrumental value and intrinsic value (indirect vs. direct)o Where does value come from? Subjective: value comes from humans Objectives: value is intrinsic and ever-presento What is of intrinsic value, if anything? Some answers: Consciousness The ability to flourish (wellbeing) Beauty Diversity• Leopold Articleo The Ethical Sequence Ecological and Philosophical way of viewing ethics• Ecological ethics are ways of surviving in the environment, altering behavior to adapt• Philosophical is to constrain our social behavior when we interact with one another.• Leopold takes human ethics down a peg—anything has ethics if it wants to survive. Don’t shit where you eat, and things like that. three ways to view ethics• Individual-individual• Individual-society• Individual/society-lando The Community Concept Ethics based on the idea that the person is in a community of interdependent parts. We can view ourselves by two mindsets:• Man as conqueror of land• Man as citizen of lando The Ecological Conscience Best way to change the mindset is to have influence within early education Substitutes for land Ethic• Land has instrumental valueo Problem being that not everything has instrumental valueo People should view themselves as proud custodians of the land His main point is that some things have indirect or hidden value, which may be missed in the search for instrumental value. For that reason, just value everything and you’ll never miss one.1/16• “We can only be ethical in relationship to something we can see, feel, understand, love, or otherwise have faith in”- Leopold• A-B Cleavage of Leopoldo A: economic view of the land; I only value the land as commodity productiono B: land is biota. Function is something broader.• A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community (L)o A bit vagueo Nature/culture debate• Judgments/intuitions-> theory that explains /captures our ethics• Sylvano Man as a tyrant over the environmento Man as a custodian of nature To whom are we responsible?o Man as a perfector What is perfection? What we want?o Judges nature as more important than people in some cases• Basic Chauvinism= basic western viewo One can do what one wishes, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, or cause irreparable harm to oneself Who are others? What is “irreparable”? What is “harm”?1/18• Singer Article for Wednesday (CRE 1 is on Singer)• Sylvan thinks that we need to go past a basic chauvinism to move ono Sylvan adds the idea to basic chauvinism that they should not willfully destroy, or broaden the concept of “others”• Argument?o 1. Killing humans for money is morally wrongo 2. There is no morally relevant difference between killing humans and killing whales/the rainforesto 3. If 2 is true, then killing whales for money is wrong 1/23• Singero Nonhumans take the brunt of the blow when Humans interfere with nature. We harm ourselves in the end, but we harm the animals firsto Religious and philosophical traditions say that Animals are made for man Cruelty to animals lead to cruelty to mano Reason Something that should figure in our calculations There are reasons to treat animals in certain wayso Suffering exists in all species (switches to “interests”) Individual animals Racism/speciesism• Good analogy?o Interests Consciousness=interests No consciousness, no interestso Equal consideration vs. Equal treatment Dog vs. human, kill the dog, but do consider it. How do we best weigh the interests of an animal vs those of a human? Unable to quantify the amount of dog deaths that equal one human deatho Wants to increase the attention paid to individuals of a species, not simply the species as a whole.Get last week’s from the flash drive2/4• Read O’Neill for Wednesday• Varnero An animal ethic and an environmental ethic can coexisto EE doesn’t equal holistic theorieso Enlightened anthropocentrism: not what we can do right now to maximize our own utility but what we can do in the futureo Three types of hunting: Therapeutic: culling population Subsistence: food for humans Sport: just for the hell of it, or to continue traditiono Obligatory management species These consistently overshoot their carrying capacity, which is a detriment to their ecosystemo Permissive management species These consistently overshoot their carrying capacity, but not to the detriment of their ecosystemo Argues with Singer’s Liberation view Need to minimize pain A bullet is less painful than starvation Gotta therapeutic hunt themo Regan’s animal rights view Worse off principle: between a dog and a man, kill the dog Miniride principle: between one man and one hundred, kill the one man2/6• Read Rolston for Friday• O’Neillo Worries about how we might understand “intrinsic value”o Three different ideas An object has instrumental value insofar as it is a means to an end (instrumental)  The value of x depends entirely on the x’s intrinsic properties, non-relational The value of a thing it possesses independently of any valuer, Ideal objectivity• How would we know that this thing has intrinsic value?o Source/Object Water hose• Source of water is sprayer• When you get wet you are the object of the sprayer2/8• O’Neill continuedo Distinction between the source of value and the object of valueo You might think consciousness is the source of value o You might think all value comes from one thing/persono O’Neill says that environmental ethicists want a secure


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