Harmonising with Heaven and Earth: Reciprocal Harmony and Xunzi's Environmental Ethics

Environmental Values 31 (5):555-574 (2022)
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Xunzi's philosophy provides a rich resource for understanding how ethical relationships between humans and nature can be articulated in terms of harmony. In this paper, I build on his ideas to develop the concept of reciprocal harmony, which requires us to reciprocate those who make our lives liveable. In the context of the environment, I argue that reciprocal harmony generates moral obligations towards nature, in return for the existential debt that humanity owes towards heaven and earth. This can be used as a normative basis for an environmental ethic that enables humanity and nature to flourish together.

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Eudaimonia, Virtue Ethics and Moral Community.Kalpita Bhar Paul - 2022 - Environmental Values 31 (5):505-514.
Finding Ways and Means to Love Nature.Tom Greaves - 2023 - Environmental Values 32 (5):517-523.

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A Theory of Justice: Revised Edition.John Rawls - 1999 - Harvard University Press.
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Xunzi: The Complete Text.Eric L. Hutton - 2014 - Princeton: Princeton University Press. Edited by Eric L. Hutton.
The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony.Chenyang Li - 2014 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
Confucius and the Effortless Life of Virtue.Hagop Sarkissian - 2010 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 27 (1):1-16.

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