Wiley Online – Journal of Social Issues: Environmental Ethics

The central question in this article is, on what ethical basis should we decide how to deal with nature? One important issue is whether a human-centered utilitarian perspective is sufficient to protect the environment and, if not, what alternatives are possible. A key philosophical problem concerns the extent to which inherent value can be ascribed to things that are not human, including animals, vegetation, and even land. Philosophers do not agree among themselves on these issues. This article proposes that an environmental ethic should explicitly consider the consistency of our environmental actions with our values. A concluding discussion shows how a psychological theory of values may provide some insights into the way we think about ethical dilemmas.

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