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phlb02-environmental ethics exam notes.docx

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Final Exam Notes on various Authors of Importance Descartes ‗Two different principles cause our motions‘: the corporeal soul and the incorporeal soul.‘ P1) Only incorporeal substances are Capable of rational thought P2) having an incorporeal soul makes one a subject capable of having experiences, Suffering, and being a moral agent P3) We can only infer that something is Capable of rational thought if: It uses language (animals cant use language don‘t have incorporeal soul an thus cant suffer/be moral agents) It is able to act from knowledge Murdy to show us that Anthropocentrism is an acceptable and appropriate way of understanding our moral obligations ―The Golden rule, ‗As ye would that men should do to you, do ye to them likewise,‘ is a moral axiom which requires reciprocity among ethicizing beings. ―Paradox of Environmental Concern‖ – that in order to save human beings, we need to ‗pretend‘ that other living things have equal value Murdy points out the paradox and confronts it Gould There isn‘t much we can do to harm life on earth or evolutionary processes given the scale at which evolution proceeds Adaptationism vs. Punctured- Equilibrium There‘s a conflict between biologists as to how distinct species evolve Adaptationists believe that it‘s a slow process, driven by the slow accumulation of new traits Gould and his colleagues believe that species evolve very quickly, when environmental conditions change, populations become isolated from one another, new predators are introduced, etc. Singer : The Basic argument: happiness(P1) experience happiness gives one interests in avoiding the former and pursuing the latter (P2) If something has interests, we ought to consider those interests as equal to everyone else‘s (P3; Principle of Equality) All reasons for disregarding animal interests are arbitrary or morally irrelevant (speciesism) (P4) Equal treatment vs. equal consideration Reciprocity as the ultimate moral principle Prior existence view: ―it is wrong to kill any being whose life is likely to contain, or can be brought to contain, more pleasure than pain.‖ (329) Total view: ―Of all the arguments for Vegetarianism none is so weak as the argument from humanity. The pig has a stronger interest than anyone in the demand for bacon. If all the world were Jewish, there would be no pigs.‖ (Stephen, quoted on 329) Regan -respect principle and harm principle A moral agent is capable of moral thought, e.g. bringing impartial principles to bear on particular cases VS A moral patient is deserving of moral consideration, even though it can‘t be held morally accountable for her actions Inherent value is the value of an individual life, whereas intrinsic value is the value of our experiences Subject to a life (all or nothing): ―Individuals are subjects-of-a-life if they have beliefs and desires; perception, memory, and a sense of the future; an emotional life together with feelings of pleasure and pain; preference and welfare interests; the ability to initiate action in pursuit of their desires . . .‖ Miniride: when we‘re forced to violate someone‘s rights, we ought to choose to violate as few individuals‘ rights as possible, where the violations constitute comparable harms VS Worse-off: when forced to violate someone‘s rights and where the harms are not of comparable value, we ought to violate the rights of the many when the harm that comes to any of the few is greater than any of the harms that the many accrue Jamieson Mind dependant (opinion) vs. mind independent (fact) Mind dependant makes us emotionally mad at things 1st order ethical claims are about which actions are right or wrong, or which states f affairs are better than others 2nd order ethical claims, on the other hand, are claims about 1st order claims, or about the meaning of concepts that are used on 1st order claims Response-dependence view: when you claim that an act is wrong, you mean that you have an emotional disposition of disapprobation to that act (minddependent) Rationalist View: when you claim that an act is wrong, you mean to say that it is irrational, which any person capable of rationality should recognize (weakly minddependent) Taylor Animals and ‗plants‘ are ―teleological centres of a life‖ with a point of view, and so they have inherent value and Second, to outline some ‗rules of engagement‘ for our interactions with plants and animals Priority Principles: Harmful VS Harmless and Basic (the right we have in what we need to be human) VS Non-basic (what we pursue by our individual value systems) Varner : To show us that plant flourishing is morally important, apart from any human interests The mental state theory of individual welfare (Thirsty traveller): X is in A‘s interests when:  .A actually desires X, or  A would desire X if A were sufficiently informed and impartial across phases of his or her life; and  What is in A‘s best interests is defined in terms of clause (2) (interpreted by Angel/Scientist aka go/very reasonable) Psycho-Biological Theory Of Welfare X is in A‘s interests when: would desire X if A were sufficiently informed and impartial across phases of his or her life; or Leopold : To show us that we need to change our values in order to change our practices and To show us that homo sapiens should learn to view themselves as part of the biotic community Leopold The A-B Clevage . Type A conservationists regard the land primarily as a resource, which produces commodities for us . Type B conservationists regard the land as biota  This cleavage exists among foresters, wildlife managers, and even agriculturalists Warren Conceptual frameworks (lens metaphor) are expectations that affect our evaluations of things. Warren states that these lead to the oppression of females and the environment oppressive conceptual frameworks: . 1. Value-Hierarchical Thinking . Ranking along some dimension, e.g. rationality, and attributing more value to one end of the spectrum . 2. Oppositional value-dichotomies are a crucial concept in ecofeminism generally . Exclusive disjunction: either X or Y . Such tha
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