Exemplars in environmental ethics: Taking seriously the lives of Thoreau, Leopold, Dillard and Abbey

Ethics, Place and Environment 13 (1):43 – 55 (2010)
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It is argued that certain individuals can and should be considered 'morally exemplary' with respect to the environment. This can be so even where there is no universally applicable ethical principle they employ, and no canonical set of virtues they exhibit. The author identifies Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard and Edward Abbey as potential 'environmental exemplars,' focusing for the purposes of the essay on individuals who have written compelling autobiographical works in defense of a way of life that is both attuned to the values of a particular place and attentive to the humanistic concerns that have more traditionally been the locus of ethical thought



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Nathan Andersen
Eckerd College

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