David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Science and Engineering Ethics 2 (4):429-440 (1996)
Rolston (1988) argues that in order to act ethically in the environment, moral agents must assume that their actions are potentially harmful, and then strive to prove otherwise before implementing that action. In order to determine whether or not an action in the environment is harmful requires the tools of applied epistemology in order to act in accord with Rolston’s ethical prescription. This link between ethics and epistemology demands a closer look at the relationship between confirmation theory, particularly notions of plausibility, in the philosophy of science and environmental ethics. Upon taking this look, I conclude that, at least logically, we are no better off assuming that actions are maximally risky (Rolston) than when we assume minimal risk. “Our vulnerability to error is greatest not from the things that we include in the model, but from the prophecies we leave out entirely.” Francis Bretherton “What is the main epistemic problem concerning science? I take it that it is the explication of how we compare and evaluate theories, as a basis either for theory acceptance or for practical action.” Bas van Fraassen “We face two kinds of ethical difficulties. One is where we know what ought to be done but not how to get the company to do it. The other is where we do not know what is right. We do not know the facts, or how to weigh the facts, especially statistical ones. We do not know the probabilities for development of future technologies. We do not know how to attach values to facts, or how to trade this good off against that one.” Holmes Rolston.
|Keywords||environmental ethics epistemology precautionary principle|
|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
Hans Jonas (1984). The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age. University of Chicago Press.
Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem (1954). The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
Peter Galison (1990). How Experiments End. Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):103-106.
Wesley C. Salmon (1967). The Foundations of Scientific Inference. [Pittsburgh]University of Pittsburgh Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Nicole Klenk (2009). The Ethics of “Following Nature” in Forestry. Environmental Ethics 31 (1):67-84.
Arthur Zucker (1996). Ferré: Organicistic Connectedness—But Still Speciesistic. Ethics and the Environment 1 (2):185 - 190.
Theodore W. Nunez (1999). Rolston, Lonergan, and the Intrinsic Value of Nature. Journal of Religious Ethics 27 (1):105 - 128.
Wayne Ouderkirk (1999). Can Nature Be Evil?: Rolston, Disvalue, and Theodicy. Environmental Ethics 21 (2):135-150.
Ned Hettinger (1994). Valuing Predation in Rolston's Environmental Ethics: Bambi Lovers Versus Tree Huggers. Environmental Ethics 16 (1):3-20.
J. Baird Callicot (1992). Rolston on Intrinsic Value: A Deconstruction. Environmental Ethics 14 (2):129-143.
Francisco Benzoni (1996). Rolston's Theological Ethic. Environmental Ethics 18 (4):339-352.
J. Baird Callicott (1992). Rolston on Intrinsic Value. Environmental Ethics 14 (2):129-143.
Christopher J. Preston (1998). Epistemology and Intrinsic Values: Norton and Callicott's Critiques of Rolston. Environmental Ethics 20 (4):409-428.
Judith N. Scoville (1995). Value Theory and Ecology in Environmental Ethics: A Comparison of Rolston and Niebuhr. Environmental Ethics 17 (2):115-133.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads146 ( #15,519 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #183,615 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?