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Evaluating Callicott's Attack on Stone's Moral Pluralism

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J. Baird Callicott is well known in environmental philosophy for his attack on Christopher D. Stone's moral pluralism. Although his attack has drawn attention from critics and has been labelled problematic for various reasons, I argue that it fails entirely. Each of Callicott's three distinct criticisms proves to be not only weak on its own terms, but, perhaps surprisingly, as effective against Callicott's own communitarian position as it is against Stone's pluralist one. I show that Callicott's attack is not only wholly ineffective in targeting Stone, but that even if it were so effective it would on every count be just as effective in targeting its own originator.

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Keywords: Christopher D. Stone; J. Baird Callicott; communitarianism; environmental ethics; ethical monism; moral pluralism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-08-01

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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 a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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