David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Environmental Ethics 13 (3):215-234 (1991)
Using concepts from abstract algebra and type theory, I analyze the structural presuppositions of any holistic ethical theory. This study is motivated by such recent holistic theories in environmental ethics as Aldo Leopold’s land ethic, James E. Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis, Arne Naess’ deep ecology, and various aesthetic ethics of the sublime. I also discuss the holistic and type theoretic assumptions of suchstandard ethical theories as hedonism, natural rights theory, utilitarianism, Rawls’ difference principle, and fascism. I argue that although there are several common senses of part-whole in ethical theory, the central sense of holism in ethics is that of a theory that defines its key moral idea as an emergent group property grounded in the relational properties of its individual constituents. Hedonism and Kantianism do not count as holistic in this sense. Natural rights theory does in adegenerate way. Utilitarianism and various environmental ethics are paradigm examples. I point out as a general structural weakness of environmental holistic theories that their first-order grounding in nonmoral vocabulary seems to preclude an explanation of many moral intuitions about human ethics
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Samantha Brennan (1999). Reconciling Feminist Politics and Feminist Ethics on the Issue of Rights. Journal of Social Philosophy 30 (2):260–275.
Eric Katz (1985). Organism, Community, and the "Substitution Problem". Environmental Ethics 7 (3):241-256.
John Moskop (1981). The Holistic Health Movement: A Survey and Critique. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (2):209-235.
John Mizzoni (2004). St. Francis, Paul Taylor, and Franciscan Biocentrism. Environmental Ethics 26 (1):41-56.
James F. O'Brien (1988). Teilhard's View of Nature and Some Implications for Environmental Ethics. Environmental Ethics 10 (4):329-346.
Steve F. Sapontzis (1993). Holism: Revolution or Reminder? Topoi 12 (1):31-39.
Mark Schroeder (2011). Holism, Weight, and Undercutting. Noûs 45 (2):328 - 344.
Jon N. Moline (1986). Aldo Leopold and the Moral Community. Environmental Ethics 8 (2):99-120.
Michael P. Nelson (1996). Holists and Fascists and Paper Tigers...Oh My! Ethics and the Environment 1 (2):103 - 117.
Michael Patrick Seevinck (2004). Holism, Physical Theories and Quantum Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 35 (4):693-712.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #297,594 of 1,102,836 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #182,775 of 1,102,836 )
How can I increase my downloads?