Forgivingness, pessimism, and environmental citizenship

Abstract
Our attitudes toward human culpability for environmental problems have moral and emotional import, influencing our basic capacities for believing cooperative action and environmental repair are even possible. In this paper, I suggest that having the virtue of forgivingness as a response to environmental harm is generally good for moral character, preserving us from morally risky varieties of pessimism and despair. I define forgivingness as a forward-looking disposition based on Robin Dillon’s conception of preservative forgiveness, a preparation to be deeply and abidingly accepting yet expecting human error. As with other virtues, however, preservative forgiveness is available to some of us more than others; in the second half of this paper, I consider the deep challenge posed by rational pessimism, especially on the part of those who have been given many reasons not to hope for the very moral improvements for which they strive. I conclude that for those of us with the power roles and personal resources especially conducive to environmental activism, preservative forgiveness inclines us to remain engaged in environmental activism with fellow flawed human beings, recognizing our own mutual depredations while committing us to cooperatively respond.
Keywords Forgiveness  Virtue  Pessimism  Ecocitizenship
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 10,788
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
Aristotle (2006/1998). Nicomachean Ethics. Oxford University Press, USA.

View all 9 references

Citations of this work BETA
Allen Thompson (2010). Radical Hope for Living Well in a Warmer World. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1):43-55.
Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-06-15

Total downloads

30 ( #57,138 of 1,099,028 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #58,097 of 1,099,028 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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