Environmental Ethics 1 (1):7-30 (1979)
“Nature knows best” is reconsidered from an ecological perspective which suggests that we ought to follow nature. The phrase “follow nature” has many meanings. In an absolute law-of-nature sense, persons invariably and necessarily act in accordance with natural laws, and thus cannot but follow nature. In an artifactual sense, all deliberate human conduct is viewed as unnatural, and thus it is impossible to follow nature. As a result, the answer to the question, whether we can and ought to follow nature, must be sought in a relative sense according to which human conduct is sometimes more and sometimes less natural. Four specific relative senses are examined: a homeostatic sense, an imitative ethical sense, an axiological sense, and a tutorial sense. Nature can be followed in a homeostatic sense in which human conduct utilizes naturallaws for our well-being in a stable environment, but this following is nonmoral since the moral elements can be separated from it. Nature cannot be followed in an imitative ethical sense because nature itself is either amoral or, by some accounts, immoral. Guidance for inter-human ethical conduct, therefore, must be sought not in nature, but in human culture. Nevertheless, in an axiological sense, persons can and ought to follow nature by viewing it as an object of orienting interest and value. In this connection, three environments are distinguished for human well-being in whichwe can and ought to participate-the urban, the rural, and the wild. Finally, in a tutorial sense, persons can and ought to follow nature by letting it teach us son1ething of our human role, our place, and our appropriate character in the natural system as a whole. In this last sense, "following nature" is commended to anyone who seeks in his human conduct to maintain a good fit with the natural environment-a sense of following nature involving both efficiency and wisdom
|Keywords||Applied Philosophy General Interest|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Starting a Flood to Stop a Fire? Some Moral Constraints on Solar Radiation Management.David R. Morrow - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (2):123-138.
Is Natural Food Healthy?Helena Siipi - 2013 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 26 (4):797-812.
Non-Backward-Looking Naturalness as an Environmental Value.Helena Siipi - 2011 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (3):329 - 344.
Nature Above People: Rolston and "Fortress" Conservation in the South.Hanna Siurua - 2006 - Ethics and the Environment 11 (1):71-96.
Similar books and articles
Is the Concept of Nature Dispensable?Robin Attfield - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5 (25):59-63.
Human Nature in a Post-Essentialist World.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):983-993.
Explaining the Value of Truth.Allen Coates - 2009 - American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):105-115.
Human Nature and Conduct, An Introduction to Social Psychology.John Dewey - 1922 - Henry Holt.
Business, Consumers and Sustainable Living in an Interconnected World: A Multilateral Ecocentric Approach. [REVIEW]Gopalkrishnan R. Iyer - 1999 - Journal of Business Ethics 20 (4):273 - 288.
Nature, Culture, and Natural Heritage: Toward a Culture of Nature.Thomas Heyd - 2005 - Environmental Ethics 27 (4):339-354.
Analogical Extension and Analogical Implication in Environmental Moral Philosophy.Jeremy Bendik-Keymer - 2001 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 8 (2):149-158.
Law.Jacqueline A. Laing - 2012 - In George Kurian (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Christian Civilisation. Blackwell.
Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (33):323-352.
Natural and Artifactual: Restored Nature as Subject.Yeuk-Sze Lo - 1999 - Environmental Ethics 21 (3):247-266.
Added to index2011-12-01
Total downloads19 ( #258,742 of 2,170,020 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #345,514 of 2,170,020 )
How can I increase my downloads?