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The Ethics of Environmental Holism and the Democratic State: Are they in Conflict?

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Abstract:

Environmental holism, with its demands for universality, appears to undermine the democratic rights of individuals, and of nation states within the international community. But these rights may better be viewed as means towards justice or other goods, rather than as ends in themselves. Where basic survival issues are involved, environmental 'triage' may be morally essential, and some checks on 'populist' democratic politics inevitable.

Keywords: democracy; environmental ethics; holism; individual rights

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3197/096327193776679954

Publication date: 1993-05-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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