Can nature be evil?: Rolston, disvalue, and theodicy

Environmental Ethics 21 (2):135-150 (1999)
Abstract
Holmes Rolston, III’s analysis of disvalue in nature is the sole explicit and sustained discussion of the negative side of nature by an environmental philosopher. Given Rolston’s theological background, perhaps it is not surprising that his analysis has strong analogues with traditional theodicies, which attempt to account for evil in a world created by a good God. In this paper, I explore those analogues and use them to help evaluate Rolston’s account. Ultimately, I find it more satisfactory than traditional theodicy in its own context, but I also raise two problems: a weighting and a counseling problem. First, once Rolston acknowledges the reality and role of disvalue in nature, he discounts its significance too greatly. Second, his account is less useful in helping those who have been harmed by the destructive activity of nature. I claim that we can usefully regard Rolston’s analysis as a deconstruction of the anthropocentric, non-ecological view of nature. Finally, I argue that the two problems and a related issue, the objectivity/subjectivity of values, point in the direction of a pragmatist account of value in nature
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
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: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    3 ( #223,982 of 1,088,616 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,616 )

    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.