David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Environmental Ethics 4 (1):17-36 (1982)
If environmentalists are to combat effectively the continuing environmental decay resulting from more and more intense human exploitation of nature, they need a plausible and coherent rationale for preserving sensitive areas and other species. This need is illustrated by reference to two examples of controversies concerning large public projects in wilderness areas. Analyses of costs and benefits to presently existing human beings and the utilitarian theory which supports such theories are inadequate to provide such a rationale, as other writers have shown. A number of environmentalists have suggested that ascriptions of rights to nonhuman animals, plants, and other natural objects may provide the necessary rationale. I argue that such ascriptions can only be effective if they are supported by a general theory of rights. Although no such general theory is developed, I state four minimal conditions which must be fulfilled by all rights holders as entailments of the concept of a right and, hence, as necessary conditions on rights holding, regardless of the general theory of rights espoused. I then argue that no appeals to rights of nonhumans can simultaneously fulfill these four minimal conditions and, on the other hand, satisfy the need for a coherent rationale for environmental preservation. In the central argument of the essay I exploit the distinction between the concern of vegetarians and antivivisectionists who rest their case for animal rights on the analogy ofanimal suffering to human suffering and the concern of environmentalists to protect the integrity of holistic ecosystems. I then conclude that even if the case for nonhuman rights can be made convincingly, the rights defended are insufficient for the development of a complete and coherent rationale for environmental preservation
|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
Michel Dion (2000). The Moral Status of Non-Human Beings and Their Ecosystems. Ethics, Place and Environment 3 (2):221 – 229.
Eugene C. Hargrove (1987). Foundations of Wildlife Protection Attitudes. Inquiry 30 (1 & 2):3 – 31.
Similar books and articles
Leonard J. Waks (1996). Environmental Claims and Citizen Rights. Environmental Ethics 18 (2):133-148.
Angus Taylor (1996). Animal Rights and Human Needs. Environmental Ethics 18 (3):249-264.
Eduardo Viola (1994). Integrating Environmentalism and Human Rights. Environmental Ethics 16 (3):265-273.
James W. Nickel & Eduardo Viola (1994). Integrating Environmentalism and Human Rights. Environmental Ethics 16 (3):265-273.
Shari Collins-Chobanian (2000). Beyond Sax and Welfare Interests. Environmental Ethics 22 (2):133-148.
Roy W. Perrett (1998). Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice. Environmental Ethics 20 (4):377-391.
Roy W. Perrett (1998). Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice. Environmental Ethics 20 (4):377-91.
David Sztybel (2001). Animal Rights: Autonomy and Redundancy. [REVIEW] Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 14 (3):259-273.
Richard A. Watson (1979). Self-Consciousness and the Rights of Nonhuman Animals and Nature. Environmental Ethics 1 (2):99-129.
Rachel Brown (2004). Righting Ecofeminist Ethics: The Scope and Use of Moral Entitlement. Environmental Ethics 26 (3):247-265.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #235,035 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #231,316 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?