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Ethics & the Environment, Volume 10, Number 1, Spring 2005

ABSTRACTS

ON THE BACKS OF ANIMALS
Cathryn Bailey

Despite the fact that feminists have compellingly drawn connections between traditional notions of reason and the oppression of women and nature, many animal ethicists fail to deeply incorporate these insights. After detailing the links between reason and the oppression of women and animals, I argue that the work of philosophers such as Tom Regan and Peter Singer fails to reflect that what feminists have called is not the mere inclusion of emotion, but a recognition of the inherent continuity between the two. To ignore this continuity, I conclude, risks reinscribing the very suffering we seek to eliminate.
ANIMAL ETHICS AND INTEREST CONFLICTS
Elisa Aaltola

Animal ethics has presented convincing arguments for the individual value of animals. Animals are not only valuable instrumentally or indirectly, but in themselves. Less has been written about interest conflicts between humans and other animals, and the use of animals in practice. The motive of this paper is to analyze different approaches to interest conflicts. It concertrates on six models, which are the rights model, the interest model, the mental complexity model, the special relations model, the multi-criteria model, and the contextual model. Of these, the contextual model is the strongest, and carries clear consequences for the practical use of animals.
IS IT NATURAL TO DRIVE SPECIES TO EXTINCTION?
Mark A. Michael

Whether or not extinction caused by human activities is natural depends on which sense of the term "natural" is under consideration. Given one sense of that term which has some grip on the popular imagination, it is. This suggests that at a minimum environmentalists should be very careful about invoking "the natural" and related concepts such as "acting naturally" when they propose moral principles. I argue here for the stronger claim that the "natural" is either redundant and serves to obscure more than it brings to light, or that it is bound up with a picture of the world which is false, and so theoretically useless. Thus "the natural" can do no useful theoretical work in a completely developed environmental ethic.
ALL ABOUT EVE
Robert Hull

In this paper I examine and assess an important developing trend in environmental ethics, environmental virtue ethics. I begin by providing a thorough survey of influential and representative contributions to environmental virtue ethics. Along with explaining these contributions to environmental virtue ethics I discuss their various strengths and weaknesses. In the second section I explain what I believe an environmental virtue ethic needs to do to complement other perspectives in environmental ethics. Then, using the best aspects of previously published work along with some additional argument and analysis, I provide a concise portrait of an environmental virtue ethic that combines the advantages of Aristotelian virtue theory with the insights of contemporary environmental ethics. The environmental virtue ethic that emerges from this analysis and discussion is primarily a philosophical praxis. It provides a model of living well in which an understanding of and a concern for the environment human is constitutive of human flourishing. As a praxis this environmental virtue ethic articulates an account of human flourishing with a view to suggesting how a person can improve her own life by working to preserve wild nature.

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