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Ethics & the Environment, Volume 11, Number 1, Spring 2006

ABSTRACTS

ENVIRONMENTAL AESTHETICS AND THE DYNAMIC OBJECT
David E. W. Fenner

In this paper, I lay out a case for why those objects of aesthetic attention which are principally characterized as natural objects should be understood not statically, as existing in merely a three-dimensional fixed state, but as dynamic, as existing in a space-time context, complete with change, movement, and flux. After this, I explain why this is important, how the dynamic nature of natural objects raises a concern for aesthetically evaluating natural objects, and how that concern may be addressed.
ON ECOLOGY AND AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE: A FEMINIST THEORY OF VALUE AND PRAXIS
Wendy Lynn Lee

My aim is to develop a feminist theory of value--an axiology--which unites two notions that seem to have little in common for a theorizing whose ultimate goal is justice-driven emancipatory action, namely, the ecological and the aesthetic. In this union lies the potential for a critical feminist political praxis capable of appreciating not only the value of human life, but those relationships upon which human and nonhuman life depend. A vital component of this praxis is, I argue, the potential for an aesthetic experience whose value is exemplified in those actions that tend to foster respect for biodiversity and ecological stability.
DUCKS, BOGS, AND GUNS: A CASE STUDY OF STEWARDSHIP ETHICS IN NEWFOUNDLAND
Catherine M. Roach, Tim I. Hollis, Brian E. McLaren, Dean L. Y. Bavington

Three major strategies exist for the protection of endangered habitat and species: (1) land acquisition programs, (2) government legislation and regulatory agencies, and (3) "stewardship" programs that are voluntary and community-based. While all of these strategies have merit, we suggest that stewardship holds particular advantages and should be considered more often as a strategy of first choice. In this article, we examine the Municipal Wetland Stewardship program of Newfoundland, a popular and successful Canadian policy for the local protection of wetlands. Important issues are at stake: competing philosophical foundations for managerial ecology, the value of "local ecological knowledge," principles of community-based conservation, the question of whether stewardship empowers local communities or controls them from afar, and ethical conflicts around American colonialism, hunting, and ecotourism. The results suggest that despite some potentially problematic ironies, the Newfoundland program provides a model for a public policy aimed both at the pragmatics of biophysical sustainability and at the ideals of environmental ethics, social justice, and democratic politics.
NATURE ABOVE PEOPLE: ROLSTON AND 'FORTRESS' CONSERVATION IN THE SOUTH
Hanna Siurua

Holmes Rolston III has argued that in some situations where the needs of starving people come into conflict with the protection of natural values, "we" ought to prioritize the latter. Focusing on the threat to pristine ecosystems and endangered species posed by overpopulation in developing countries, Rolston advocates the exclusion of human settlement and activity from the most fragile and valuable wild areas--a strategy sometimes termed "fortress conservation." This approach suffers from at least three serious faults. First, fortress conservation is regarded as an illegitimate imposition by many of the local people on whose cooperation the success of conservation initiatives depends, often leading to failure in terms of conservation objectives. Second, the assumption that conservation and the satisfaction of basic human needs are largely incompatible ignores evidence of widespread environmentally sustainable patterns of resource use. Finally, Rolston's appeal to "us, referring variously to concerned North Americans and to humanity as a whole, implicitly universalizes the preservationist value system of a Northern minority while excluding the values and voices of the people directly affected by the proposed conservation measures.
CAN THE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS BE COMPARED TO THE HOLOCAUST?
David Sztybel

The treatment of animals and the Holocaust have been compared many times before, but never has a thoroughly detailed comparison been offered. A forty-point comparison can be constructed, whether or not one believes that animals are oppressed. The question of whether or not the comparison ought to be expressed merely brings into question of whether animal liberationists have liberal-democratic rights to express themselves, which they surely do. Four objections are considered: Is the comparison offensive? Does the comparison trivialize what happened to the victims of the Nazis, overlook important differences, or ignore supposed affinities between animal liberationists and Nazis? These four lines of attack are shown to fail. The comparison stands to help us to reflect on the significance of how animals are treated in contemporary times.

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