Heideggerian Environmental Virtue Ethics

Environmental ethics is apparently caught in a dilemma. We believe in human species partiality as a way of making sense of many of our practices. However as part of our commitment to impartialism in ethics, we arguably should extend the principle of impartiality to other species, in a version of biocentric egalitarianism of the kind advocated by Paul Taylor. According to this view, not only do all entities that possess a good have inherent worth, but they have equal inherent worth, and in particular no species is superior to any other. In this paper, I elaborate a Heideggerian environmental virtue ethics that slips between the horns of the dilemma. Central to this ethics is the relation of “dwelling” and the many virtues of dwelling, according to which the world is seen as “holy” in a variety of ways. This ethics is importantly local in respect of time and place, but also has universalistic aspects. To understand such an ethics, it is necessary to grasp Heidegger’s notion of truth as “aleithia” or opening, which enables us to escape the metaphysical dilemmas besetting ethics in the analytic tradition, including standard virtue ethics. Elaborating this notion occupies a large part of the paper.
Keywords Virtue  Virtue ethics  Heidegger  Dwelling   Aleithia  Wonder
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DOI 10.1007/s10806-009-9186-1
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Claus Dierksmeier (2013). Kant on Virtue. Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):597-609.

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