Environmentalism

Download Beyond the land ethic: more essays in environmental by J. Baird Callicott PDF

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By J. Baird Callicott

A sequel to Callicott's pioneering paintings, In security of the Land Ethic, past the Land Ethic engages a large spectrum of issues imperative to the sphere, together with the dating of environmental philosophy to present mainstream educational philosophy; the connection of modern advancements in evolutionary and ecological sciences to the Leopold land ethic lengthy championed by way of the writer; the perennial debates in environmental ethics in regards to the ontological prestige of intrinsic worth and the need of ethical pluralism; the metaphysical implications of ecology and the hot Physics as appear in agriculture, medication, and commercial expertise; and the philosophical dimensions of conservation biology and "clinical ecology."

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The outcast estate of environmental philosophy used to be something of a mystery to me, but I think I now understand the reasons for it. For one thing, environmental philosophy has been relegated to the "applied ethics" barrio. Hence, it is snubbed by the mandarins of academic philosophy who regard themselves to be advancing the "pure" stuff. There is an irony in this ghettoization. Environmental philosophy has, for the most part, been pressing the envelope of theory, especially ethical theory.

E. Clements's superorganism model in early twentieth-century ecology, for example, one "association" of organisms succeeded another until a mature climax association was attained. Then the climax reproduced itself in perpetuity until the successional series leading up to the climax was restarted by some external (often anthropogenic) disturbance. In Charles Elton's community model, widely current in ecology by the 1920s, the magnitude of potentially explosive species populations composing biotic communities remained constant or fluctuated around some mean, each species population held in "balance," in respect to the others, by various invisible hands, such as competition and predation.

What will succeed analytic philosophy and phenomenology as the twenty-first century ripens? I've bet my life on the belief that environmental philosophy will be regarded by future historians as the bellwether of a twenty-first-century intellectual effort to think through the philosophical implications of the profound paradigm shifts that occurred in the sciences during the twentieth century. Hasn't philosophy of science, a Page 5 twentieth-century innovation, been doing just that all along, you may be thinking?

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