Study Guides (248,640)
Canada (121,653)
York University (10,209)
COGS 3750 (3)
Final

exam notes for phil 2000

17 Pages
125 Views

Department
Cognitive Science
Course Code
COGS 3750
Professor
Rebecca Jubis

This preview shows pages 1,2,3,4. Sign up to view the full 17 pages of the document.
Description
1 Modes of Reasoning – Lecture 17 I – Environmental Ethics • The first moral issue examined in this course was the moral status of animals: what rights do animals have? • Another issue of contemporary moral importance is the issue of the natural environment or ‘ecology’. • It is rather generally conceded that we have some obligations to protect and nurture the natural environment. • Given this general consensus, the fundamental issue in environmental ethics becomes what exactly our moral obligations are concerning the natural environment. 2 II – Environmental Ethics: Two Approaches • Besides the issue of exactly what moral obligations we have towards the natural environment, there is the more preliminary question of from where these obligations derive. • There are two fundamental views or positions regarding from where moral obligations towards the natural environment derive, which divide environmental ethicists into two broad categories: deep ecologists and shallow ecologists. Deep ecology: our moral obligations to protect the natural environment derive primarily from the value of the natural environment itself. Inherent value (also known as ‘intrinsic value’): a value that something S has in and of itself. Instrumental value: a value that something S has by virtue of the fact that it has value for some other thing T. • According to deep ecologists, nature has an inherent value. -It is valuable in of itself, apart from any value it might have for other entities such as human beings. -Even if humans and animals did not exist, the existence and preservation of the planet could still be given a rationale. E.G.: Even if we had another planet to live on, we still shouldn’t destroy the earth. 3 • Deep ecologists tend to hold more extreme positions about the scope of our moral obligations toward the planet. -Since nature has an inherent value, we have very substantial moral obligations to protect and preserve its resources. -We must protect nature at virtually any cost since there is something worthwhile about nature in and of itself. 4 Shallow ecology: the natural environment only has instrumental value. -Nature is valuable only to the extent that it is valuable to some domain of entities, i.e., especially human beings and animals. -Our moral obligations to protect and preserve nature derive from the fact that it has certain basic purposes for us: it enables us to live, breath, eat, enjoy beauty, etc. -If humans and animals didn’t exist, the existence and preservation of the planet could not be given a rationale. E.G.: if we had another planet to live on, we shouldn’t worry about whether or not the earth is destroyed. 5 • Shallow ecologists tend to hold less extreme views about our moral obligations towards the natural environment than deep ecologists. -Our moral obligations to protect and preserve the natural environment are limited: limited to cases in which protecting and preserving the environment provides a significant benefit to humans and other animals. • However, there is a broad range of positions within this spectrum. -Many shallow ecologists claim that we have quite substantial moral obligations to protect and preserve nature. -They advocate policies and actions which might be described as highly ‘environmentalist’c. -It’s just that this is given an instrumentalist justification: such policies and actions will be beneficial to humans and animals. 6 III – Naess on the Environment and Deep Ecology • Arne Naess is a proponent of deep ecology. -The natural environment has an inherent value, one independent of the value it has for humans and other animals. -Our moral obligations towards nature, obligations that should be sanctioned by the law, are rather substantial. • In his article, though, he is interested to lay out, elucidate and defend the deep ecological position rather than delineate its consequences with respect to our moral obligations. • What sorts of general theoretical and intuitive considerations support the position of deep ecology, or what is called the ‘deep ecosophy’ (the philosophy underlying deep ecology)? 7 (1) Value Objectivism: values are objective, real or inherent features of things. -Things can have values independently of the purposes they serve for humans and animals. -Value subjectivism, according to which things can only have value relative to the purposes they serve for humans and animals, is a prejudice of modern 20 -21 Century western society. -It is anthropocentric to think that things can only have values for us. -Most other cultures at most other times were subjectivists and believed that certain things, besides humans and other animals, could have inherent value. 8 (2) Living beings and intrinsic value: all living things (everything existing within nature) have an intrinsic or inherent value. -Any living being has a right to life. -We as
More Less
Unlock Document

Only pages 1,2,3,4 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

Unlock Document
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version

Unlock Document

Log In


OR

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


OR

By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.


Submit