Following human nature

Environmental Ethics 28 (2):165-183 (2006)
Any mediation of the humanity-nature divide driven by environmental concern must satisfactorily account for ecologically destructive human behavior. Holmes Rolston, III argues that human cultures should “follow nature” when interacting with nature. Yet he understands culture to necessarily degrade ecosystems, and allows that purely cultural values could legitimate the destruction of nature itself. Edward O. Wilson, meanwhile, argues that culture’s evolutionary function is to fit humanity to its niche; culture necessarily follows “epigenetic rules” naturally selected for this purpose. However, because humanity cannot but follow these rules, any human behavior—even (post)modern societies’ ecologically catastrophic behavior—is entirely natural. Therefore, Rolston’s reconciliation is too weak and Wilson’s too strong. Yet the two can be mutually modifying. Rolston’s “pure” culture should follow the natural value of human nature; yet, humans must be free to disobey (at their peril) Wilson’s epigenetic rules. Humanity thus becomesreconciled to nature by freely following its own nature, which is violated when the wider natural world is treated unnaturally
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/enviroethics200628230
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,707
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

13 ( #298,458 of 1,939,032 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #458,475 of 1,939,032 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.