No experience necessary? Foundationalism and the retreat from culture in environmental ethics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many of the leading contributors to the field of environmental ethics demonstrate a preference for foundationalist approaches in their theoretical justifications of environmentalism. In this paper, I criticise this tendency as it figures in the work of Holmes Rolston III, J. Baird Callicott, and Eric Katz. I illustrate how these writers' desire for philosphical absolutes leads them to reject the moral resources present within human culture; a move that carries with it a number of troubling philosophical and political problems. I conclude that environmental theorists would be better served by taking a more contextual, social, and pragmatic approach to justifying their moral projects regarding nature, and that this mode of inquiry will ultimately lead toward a more philosophically sound and democratically authentic environmental ethics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-348
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Values
Volume7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes

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environmentalism
resource
environmental ethics
Retreat
Foundationalism
Environmental Ethics
project
Justification
Theorists
Writer
Nature
Human Culture
Resources
Environmentalism
Foundationalist
Contextual

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)

Cite this

No experience necessary? Foundationalism and the retreat from culture in environmental ethics. / Minteer, Ben.

In: Environmental Values, Vol. 7, No. 3, 08.1998, p. 333-348.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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