The Ethicist Conception of Environmental Problems

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Ethicist assumptions about the causes and solutions of environmental problems are widely held within environmental philosophy. It is typically assumed that an important cause of problems are the attitudes towards the natural environment held by individuals and that problems can be solved by getting people to adopt a more ethical orientation towards the environment. This article analyses and criticises these claims. Both the highly mediated nature of the relationship between individuals and the natural environment and the pervasive pressure on firms in market economies to reduce their costs provide reasons to question the ethicist assumptions.

Keywords: environmental ethics; environmental problems; ethicism; solutions

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • 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 (2013) of 1.739.
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