Nature, Virtue, and the Nature of Virtue

Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):109-117 (2010)
Abstract
Most of the philosophical work written on environmental issues focuses on notions such as rights, consequences, duties, etc. And most of the theoretical philosophy done in environmental ethics focuses on questions of whether animals, plants, or ecosystems have inherent value or moral standing independently of their usefulness to humans. A character-based approach has been largely neglected (despite a few important works). In this paper, I consider what a plausible environmental virtue ethics would look like. Specifically, I argue (pace Sandler) that it would not require any distinct eco-virtue but would involve merely widening the scope of traditional virtues to include the non-human world. I further argue that a successful environmental virtue ethics would have to be pluralistic (involving more than one virtue) and would require the formulation of prima facie (rather than absolute) v-rules. Finally, borrowing from Naess, I suggest a way that eco-friendly character could be acquired
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