Getting Behind Environmental Ethics

Environmental Values 1 (4):285 - 296 (1992)
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There are major problems in the way in which the environmental 'ethics' question is now being framed – problems which could lead to growing confusion and disillusionment, unless they are rapidly addressed and understood. It is on such problems that this paper focuses. We point to three dimensions of the environmental 'phenomenon' which prevailing accounts of environmental ethics are tending to overlook. We then identify several ways in which incomplete ethical models tend to be reflected in actual environmental policy discourse. Finally, we suggest three hitherto-absent ingredients which will need to be recognised if future models of the ethics question are to be able to reflect, and hence to engage adequately with, social reality.



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