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Environmental Ethics. Overview. Introduction: Two Worldviews Central Questions Human-centered Approaches Expanded-circle Approaches Criteria of Moral Considerability Future Generations Predictability Models of Humans and Nature. Introduction: Two Worldviews.

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environmental ethics

Environmental Ethics

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

overview
Overview
  • Introduction: Two Worldviews
  • Central Questions
  • Human-centered Approaches
  • Expanded-circle Approaches
  • Criteria of Moral Considerability
  • Future Generations
  • Predictability
  • Models of Humans and Nature

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

introduction two worldviews
Introduction: Two Worldviews
  • Technological-scientific worldview
    • See nature as something to be manipulated
  • Natural worldviews
    • Emphasize connection between humans and nature

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

central questions
Central Questions
  • Who or what has moral weight, i.e., is deserving of direct moral consideration?
  • How much moral weight does each (type of) entity have?
  • How do we make decisions when there are conflicts among different types of beings, each of which have moral weight?

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

human centered approaches
Human-centered Approaches

Premise: the environment has no intrinsic value, only instrumental

  • Ethical egoist/libertarian
  • Group egoist
  • Utilitarian

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

expanded circle approaches
Expanded-circle Approaches
  • Expanded utilitarianism
    • Includes animal suffering
  • Biocentrism
    • All living beings are deserving of moral consideration
    • Eco-centrism: includes the entire earth
      • Individualistic: weight to each and ever being or entity
      • Holistic: gives weight to each species, etc.

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

criteria of moral considerability
Criteria of Moral Considerability
  • Intrinsic value
    • What has value in itself?
  • Teleology
    • Flourishing in the natural world
  • Aesthetic value
    • Nature as object of beauty
  • Sacredness
    • Nature as holy

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

future generations
Future Generations

What rights do future generations have?

  • Don’t yet exist
  • Competing with actually existing persons
  • Is it morally right to leave the next generation an environmentally-impoverished world?

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

predictability
Predictability

Prediction in this area is extraordinarily difficult

  • Multiple variables
  • Long-term calculations

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman

models of humans and nature
Models of Humans and Nature
  • The object-of-use model
  • The object-of-appreciation model
  • The non-interference model
  • The apocalyptic model
  • Searching for a new model

(c) Lawrence M. Hinman