David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Environmental Ethics 13 (3):235-251 (1991)
Thoreau believed that we can learn how to live by observing nature, a view that appeals to modem environmentalists. This doctrine is exemplified in Thoreau’s use of insect analogies to illustrate how humans, like butterflies, can be transformed from the “larval” stage, which relates to the physical world through consumption, to a “perfect” state in which consumption is less important, and in which freedom and contemplation are the ends of life. This transformational idea rests upon a theory of dynamic dualism in which the animal and the spiritual self remain in tension, but in which the “maturity” of the individual-transcendence of economic demands as imposed by society-emerges through personal growth based on observation of nature. Thoreau’s dynamic theory of value, and its attractiveness to environmentalists, explains why environmentalists reject the mainstream, neoclassical economic paradigm. This paradigm accepts consumer preferences as “givens” and treats these preferences as thesource of all value in their model. Because Thoreau insists that there is value in transformations from one preference set to another, the neoclassical paradigm cannot capture this central value, and cannot account for the environmentalists’ emphasis on public “education” to reduce consunlptive demands of humans on their environment
|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
Jennifer Everett (2001). Environmental Ethics, Animal Welfarism, and the Problem of Predation: A Bambi Lover's Respect for Nature. Ethics and the Environment 6 (1):42-67.
James W. Nickel & Eduardo Viola (1994). Integrating Environmentalism and Human Rights. Environmental Ethics 16 (3):265-273.
Eduardo Viola (1994). Integrating Environmentalism and Human Rights. Environmental Ethics 16 (3):265-273.
Peter Dalton (1998). Possessiveness and Embodiment. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (2):187-201.
Robert Elliot (1982). Faking Nature. Inquiry 25 (1):81 – 93.
Nicole Hassoun (2009). Free Trade and the Environment. Environmental Ethics 31 (1):51-66.
Jack Turner (2005). Performing Conscience: Thoreau, Political Action, and the Plea for John Brown. Political Theory 33 (4):448 - 471.
Jim Cheney (1996). The Dusty World: Wildness and Higher Laws in Thoreau's Walden. Ethics and the Environment 1 (2):75 - 90.
Henry David Thoreau (1996). Political Writings. Cambridge University Press.
David Scott (2007). Rewalking Thoreau and Asia: 'Light From the East' for 'a Very Yankee Sort of Oriental'. Philosophy East and West 57 (1):14-39.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #170,847 of 1,101,657 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #292,019 of 1,101,657 )
How can I increase my downloads?