Environmental ethics beyond principle? The case for a pragmatic contextualism

Ben Minteer, Elizabeth Corley, Robert E. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many nonanthropocentric environmental ethicists subscribe to a "principleist" approach to moral argument, whereby specific natural resource and environmental policy judgments are deduced from the prior articulation of a general moral principle. More often than not, this principle is one requiring the promotion of the intrinsic value of nonhuman nature. Yet there are several problems with this method of moral reasoning, including the short-circuiting of reflective inquiry and the disregard of the complex nature of specific environmental problems and policy arguments. In the present paper, we advance an alternative, pragmatic contextualist approach to environmental ethics, one grounded in the moral theory of John Dewey. We present the results of an empirical study of public environmental ethics and natural resource management attitudes to support our position, and we conclude with a few recommendations for future inquiry in the field of environmental ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-156
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

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Natural resources management
ethics
Natural resources
Ethics
Environmental Policy
natural resource policy
natural resource
Ethicists
environmental policy
natural resource management
resource management
environmental ethics
Environmental Ethics
Contextualism
Natural Resources
methodology

Keywords

  • Contextualism
  • Empirical study
  • Environmental ethics
  • Pragmatism
  • Public attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • History

Cite this

Environmental ethics beyond principle? The case for a pragmatic contextualism. / Minteer, Ben; Corley, Elizabeth; Manning, Robert E.

In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol. 17, No. 2, 2004, p. 131-156.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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