The Greening of Heart and Mind: A Love Story

Environmental Ethics 31 (2):155-168 (2009)
Roman Briggs
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Some environmentalists have argued that an effective ecological conscience may be rooted in a perspective that is either anthropocentric or sentiocentric. But, neither seems to have had any substantial effect on the ways in which our species treats nature. In looking to successfully awaken the ecological conscience, the focus should be on extending moral consideration to the land (wherein doing so includes all of the soils, waters, plants, animals, and the collectivity of which these things comprise) by means of coming to love the land. Coming to love the land involves coming to view the land’s interests as our own—and, conferring upon the land a kind of moral patient-hood. In order to perceive the land’s “subjectivity,” and so, to come to love the land, we must relearn the way to look at the land by viewing its personality through the lens of he or she who can already do so, i.e., the nature writer
Keywords environmental ethics  ecology  deep ecology  nature  love  Leopold  Callicot  Schweitzer  environmentalism
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DOI 10.5840/enviroethics200931217
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