Wilderness, cultivation and appropriation

Philosophy and Geography 5 (1):35 – 50 (2002)
Abstract
"Nature" and "wilderness" are central normative categories of environmentalism. Appeal to those categories has been subject to two lines of criticism: from constructivists who deny there is something called "nature" to be defended; from the environmental justice movement who point to the role of appeals to "nature" and "wilderness" in the appropriation of land of socially marginal populations. While these arguments often come together they are independent. This paper develops the second line of argument by placing recent appeals to "wilderness" in the context of historical uses of the concept to justify the appropriation of land. However, it argues that the constructivist line is less defensible. The paper finishes by placing the debates around wilderness in the context of more general tensions between philosophical perspectives on the environment and the particular cultural perspectives of disciplines like anthropology, in particular the prima facie conflict between the aspirations of many philosophers for thin and cosmopolitan moral language that transcends local culture, and the aspirations of disciplines like anthropology to uncover a thick moral vocabulary that is local to particular cultures.
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DOI 10.1080/10903770120116822
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References found in this work BETA
Are Humans Superior to Animals and Plants?Paul W. Taylor - 1984 - Environmental Ethics 6 (2):149-160.
Heart and Mind.Diane Collinson & Mary Midgley - 1983 - Philosophical Quarterly 33 (133):410.

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Citations of this work BETA
The Ethics of Historic Preservation.Erich Hatala Matthes - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):786-794.
Unified Science as Political Philosophy: Positivism, Pluralism and Liberalism.J. O'Neill - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (3):575-596.
An Ecological Concept of Wilderness.Craig DeLancey - 2012 - Ethics and the Environment 17 (1):25-44.

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