Human virtues and natural values

Environmental Ethics 28 (4):339-353 (2006)
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In several works, Holmes Rolston, III has argued that a satisfactory environmental ethic cannot be built on a virtue ethical foundation. His first argument amounts to the charge that because virtue ethics is by nature “self-centered” or egoistic, it is also inherently “human-centered” and hence ill suited to treating environmental matters. According to his second argument, virtue ethics is perniciously human-centeredsince it “locates” the value of a thing, not in the thing itself, but in the agent who is “ennobled” by valuing it. These charges, though illuminating, are not in the final analysis compelling. The first misconceives the role of motivation in virtue ethics, while the second ultimately rests on a misunderstanding of the place of the human perspective in ethical considerations.



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Simon Paul James
Durham University

References found in this work

Value in Nature and the Nature of Value.Holmes Rolston - 1994 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 36:13-30.
The Source and Locus of Intrinsic Value.Keekok Lee - 1996 - Environmental Ethics 18 (3):297-309.
The Source and Locus of Intrinsic Value.Keekok Lee - 1996 - Environmental Ethics 18 (3):297-309.
Environmental Virtue Ethics. [REVIEW][author unknown] - 2006 - Environmental Ethics 28 (4):429-432.

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