The University of Georgia, Department of Philosophy, Ethics and the Environment
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Ethics & the Environment, Volume 6, Number 2, Fall 2001


Queering Ecofeminism: Erotophobia, Commodification, Art, and Lesbian Identity
Wendy Lynne Lee and Laura M. Dow

Utilizing examples from recent art, we critique Greta Gaard's argument that an inclusive ecofeminism must account for the role played by erotophobia in oppression. We suggest that while Gaard offers valuable insight into how fear of the erotic contributes to maintaining heteropatriarchal institutions, it fails to account for forms of oppression specific to lesbians. Moreover, Gaard's analysis unwittingly reinforces the conceptual, hence political, economic, and social invisibility of lesbians that, following Marilyn Frye, we argue is not merely consequent to compulsory heterosexuality, but constitutive of it. Lastly, we sketch a lesbian erotic whose potential for generating conceptual dissonance within heteropatriarchal value dualism contains the seeds of a creative "sensibility" out of which a genuinely queer ecofeminism might emerge.
Animal Emotion
Beth Dixon

Recent work in the area of ethics and animals suggests that it is philosophically legitimate to ascribe emotions to nonhuman animals. Furthermore, it is sometimes argued that emotionality is a morally relevant psychological state shared by humans and nonhumans. What is missing from the philosophical literature that makes reference to emotions in nonhuman animals is an attempt to clarify and defend some particular account of the nature of emotion, and the role that emotions play in a characterization of human nature. I argue in this paper that some analyses of emotion are more credible than others. Because this is so, the thesis that humans and nonhumans share emotions may well be a more difficult case to make than has been recognized thus far.
Marking Essence -- Ecofeminism and Embodiment
Richard Twine

This paper argues that ecofeminism can consolidate its tradition of elucidating the interconnections between different oppressions by expanding upon its philosophy of the body. By looking at the ways in which particular bodies become 'marked', and so devalued, ecofeminism can point towards various unexpected and creative coalitions. Here I concentrate especially upon two intertwined sets of markings, namely those related to aesthetic discourses and those related to discourses of Western reason. I argue that both of these ultimately revolve around notions of control of the body as being constitutive of Western ideas of human identity. Moreover, I want to affirm that those ideas which encourage us to devalue certain bodies stem from discourses related to nature and animality. Through considering how ecofeminism might re-think embodiment, I argue for an alternative conception which stresses the inherent vulnerability and agency of human embodiment.
Acts of Objectification and the Repudiation of Dominance: Leopold, Ecofeminism, and the Ecological Narrative
Chaone Mallory

None dispute that Aldo Leopold has made an invaluable contribution to environmental discourse. However, it is important for those involved in the field of environmental ethics to be aware that his works may unwittingly promote an attitude of domination toward the nonhuman world, due to his frequent and unregenerate hunting. Such an attitude runs counter to most strains of environmental ethics, but most notably ecofeminism. By examining Leopold through the lens of ecofeminism, I establish that the effect of such narrative is to portray the natural world as an object available for exploitation, thereby casting it as the "other" referred to in feminist writings. Thus I conclude that Leopold's work, if accepted uncritically, may actually reinforce the very notions that have been revealed as damaging to the nature/culture relationship.
The Environmentally Sustainable Organization: A Systems Approach
A.G. Stell Kefelas

Few concepts have created more sound and fury than the concepts of development and environment. The difficulty associated with these concepts increases exponentially when one attempts to clarify them by adding some attributes such as concrete definitions and measurements pertaining to the quantity and quality of these concepts. This essay deals with the private, for-profit corporation as the primary agent in the process of satisfying the human struggle for survival. This agent has been the epicenter of the "development-environment" issue for quite some time. Further, this agent has been frequently singled out as the most important, if not the exclusive, contributor to society's inability to achieve the desired "sustainable development," whatever meaning one attaches to it. We present a framework for designing a "new" type of organization which will be environmentally sustainable. This Environmentally Sustainable Organization (ESO) resembles a living organism that pursues its own survival in an environment with finite natural resources and infinite human desires.

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