Future of environmental philosophy

Ethics and the Environment 12 (2):149-150 (2007)
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In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Future of Environmental PhilosophyVictoria Davion (bio)I agree with Baird Callicott that we still see many suggestions that we can deal with problems such as global climate change individually and voluntarily, and that this is hopelessly naïve. Obviously, many people aren't even in a position to think about these issues, as daily survival is a problem. Hence, proclamations such as those in the most recent version of the Earth Charter (www.earthcharter.org), stating ideas such that we are all responsible for the future of our planet, and that we all belong to one human family are hopeless and useless. However, this leaves open the question of how to deal with serious issues such as global climate change. Baird is right we need to deal with issues of scale.This brings me to some of the things that Bryan Norton and Bill Throop have mentioned. Bryan suggests that the fact that environmental ethicists have been too focused on metaphysical foundations of environmental values and have not focused enough on concrete empirical issues. I agree with Bryan here. However, Baird's concern with how we are going to understand issues of scale necessary to deal with problems such as global climate change seems to bring us back to the need for a focus on metaphysical foundations of environmental values. Hence, I am having trouble with Bill's idea that we can somehow split the labor between those who are involved with more concrete issues and those involved with issues of metaphysical foundational value. And, I am worried about what these more applied environmental ethicists will bring to the table, if they aren't well grounded in philosophical traditions.I agree with Bill that this places a great burden on students of environmental [End Page 149] philosophy, but I am not sure how to get around this burden. This brings me to Clare Palmer's comments. It is still true that many mainstream programs believe that environmental philosophy is simply second-string. It is important that undergraduates have a course available, but that's about it. She is right to point out that in the days of Leiter, we need to have plenty of up-to-date information available for those who might be interested in environmental philosophy. However, I believe they will certainly need a strong grounding in the history of philosophy in order to be at all successful in academic philosophy, or particularly useful in collaboration on interdisciplinary projects. This will also require field training as several of our contributors point out. Again, I realize this places an increased burden on students, but I see no way around it.Victoria Davion Victoria Davion is head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Georgia. She is founding and current editor of Ethics & the Environment. Her research areas include feminist philosophy, environmental ethics, ethics, and political philosophy. E-mail: [email protected] © 2007 Indiana University Press...

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Victoria Davion
Last affiliation: University of Georgia

Citations of this work

What is Philosophical in Environmental Philosophy?Debashis Guha - 2018 - Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 35 (3):447-461.

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