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Ethics & the Environment, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring 2004

ABSTRACTS

THINKING LIKE A MACKEREL: RACHEL CARSON'S UNDER THE SEA-WIND AS A SOURCE FOR TRANS-ECOTONAL SEA ETHIC
Susan Power Bratton

In contrast to "the land ethic," Rachel Carson's Under the Sea-Wind suggests a trans-ecotonal sea ethic, which understands human's perception as inhibited by ecotones, such as shorelines and the ocean surface, and suggests four foundational concepts: 1.) Humans are not fully adapted to life in the oceans. 2.) Humans need to understand the scale and complexity of ocean ecosystems. 3.) Humans disrupt ocean ecosystems by over-harvesting their productivity, and modifying ecosystem processes and linkages, such as migrations. 4.) Human imagination and rational scientific investigation can traverse the ecotones, allowing us to more fully value ocean life and processes.
FROM CARE TO CITIZENSHIP: CALLING ECOFEMINISM BACK TO POLITICS
Sherilyn MacGregor

Although there are important aspects of ecofeminist valuations of women's caring, a greater degree of skepticism than is now found in ecofeminist scholarship is in order. In this article I argue that there are political risks in celebrating women's association with caring, as both an ethic and a practice, and in reducing women's ethico-political life to care. I support this position by drawing on the work of feminist theorists who argue that the positive identification of women with caring ought to be treated cautiously for it obscures some of the negative implications of feminized care and narrows our understanding of women as political actors. I explain why I think ecofeminists would be better served by using feminist theories of citizenship to understand and interpret women's engagement in politics.
ANIMAL INTEGRITY, ANIMAL DIGNITY, AND GENETIC ENGINEERING
Sara Elizabeth Gavrell Ortiz

Bernard Rollin argues that it is permissible to change an animal's telos throough genetic engineering, if it doesn't harm the animal's welfare. Recent attempts to undermine his argument rely either on the claim that diminishing certain capacities always harms an animal's welfare or on the claim that it always violates an animal's integrity. I argue that these fail. However, respect for animal dignity provides a defeasible reason not to engineer an animal in a way that inhibits the development of those functions that a member of its species can normally perform, even if the modification would improve the animal's welfare.
DISLOCATED IN NATURE?
Anne Zavalkoff

This paper draws on Mary Daly's creative, connective use of the written word to challenge David Abram's central argument in The Spell of the Sensuous: that alphabetic writing and literacy are primarily responsible both for dulling human sensory perception and for severing a deep connection between humans and the natural world. It does so by outlining Abram's central claim, investigating the parallels and important differences between Abram's and Daly's work, and examining the strategies for reconnecting with the living world that emerge from Daly's prose. Ultimately, this paper argues that the ways in which people interact with all language have a greater impact on their perception of and connection to the natural world than whether they live in oral or literate communities.

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