Ecological research and conservation practice frequently raise difficult and varied ethical questions for scientific investigators and managers, including duties to public welfare, nonhuman individuals (i.e., animals and plants), populations, and ecosystems. The field of environmental ethics has contributed much to the understanding of general duties and values to nature, but it has not developed the resources to address the diverse and often unique practical concerns of ecological researchers and managers in the field, lab, and conservation facility. The emerging field of (...) “ecological ethics” is a practical or scientific ethics that offers a superior approach to the ethical dilemmas of the ecologist and conservation manager. Even though ecological ethics necessarily draws from the principles and commitments of mainstream environmental ethics, it is normatively pluralistic, including as well the frameworks of animal, research, and professional ethics. It is also methodologically pragmatic, focused on the practical problems of researchers and managers and informed by these problems in turn. The ecological ethics model offers environmental scientists and practitioners a useful analytical tool for identifying, clarifying, and harmonizing values and positions in challenging ecological research and management situations. Just as bioethics provides a critical intellectual and problem-solving service to the biomedical community, ecological ethics can help inform and improve ethical decision making in the ecology and conservation communities. (shrink)
Collins’ method is to make an internal textual study of Spinoza’s doctrine on nature with emphasis on his general model of nature that underlies and governs his arguments on particular issues. Separate chapters are devoted to each of his early writings. Two chapters discuss the _Ethics. _Collins concludes with a unifying view of Spinoza’s perspective on nature that has a bearing upon many contemporary philosophical issues.
In discussions of Kant’s contemporary relevance, the term ‘Kantian’ is usually used in three ways. First, it signifies the effort to make a fresh analysis of the text of Kant himself, in order to bring out its meaning and problems with more accuracy and penetration. Next, it is employed in a broader sense to cover the philosophical work being done by someone who belongs, however vaguely, to the Kantian tradition itself and who is seeking to prolong its method into present-day (...) issues. But there is a third meaning for the term, when it designates an independent treatment of a problem, in the course of which special attention is paid to the leads suggested by Kant for its resolution. The present paper can be called Kantian in this third sense. It does not attempt an exegesis of some texts in Kant himself, and neither does it work within the framework of a Kantian school of thought. But it does seek to show that one contemporary question receives considerable illumination, when the resources of Kant are brought to bear upon it. (shrink)
In this article, aristotle firmly locates art as a practical-intellectual virtue of making. it governs our acts of providing forms from the mind, and for contingent materials that already have a natural form. whereas the useful arts compensate for the deficiencies of nature in meeting human needs, the imitative arts operate selectively to pervade the materials with significant, likely, and pleasing patterns. although he does not explicitly link art and beauty, aristotle does regard art as a splendid embodiment of order, (...) determinateness, and human striving. (shrink)
IN CHOOSING the topic of "Teleology Revisited" for his 1977 John Dewey Lectures, Ernest Nagel has responded to a definite situation in the logic of biology. Many investigators find it helpful to make explicit and prominent use of such concepts as function and goal-directed behavior. Statements embodying these concepts can be construed in some teleological sense, thus requiring philosophers of the life sciences to analyze rather than dismiss statements made in the teleological mode. Independent inquiries into this aspect of teleology (...) are being undertaken by Wright, Woodfield, and now Nagel. (shrink)