The Failure of Traditional Environmental Philosophy

Res Publica 28 (1):1-16 (2021)
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A notable feature of recent philosophical work on climate ethics is that it makes practically no reference to ‘traditional’ environmental philosophy. There is some irony in this, since environmental ethics arose as part of a broader movement within philosophy, starting in the 1960s, aimed at developing different fields of applied philosophy, in order to show how everyday practice could be enriched through philosophical reflection and analysis. The major goal of this paper is to explain why this branch of practical ethics has, for the most part, failed the test of practicability when it comes to formulating a response to global climate change. The central problem is that debates in environmental philosophy became absorbed by a set of metaphysical questions about the nature of value. The result has been a field dominated by views that provide unsuitable foundations for the development of public policy.



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Environmental ethics.Andrew Brennan - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

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Sources of the self: the making of the modern identity.Charles Taylor - 1989 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
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Practical Ethics.Peter Singer - 1979 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Susan J. Armstrong & Richard George Botzler.
Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity.Charles Taylor - 1989 - Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press.

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