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Mercy as an Environmental Virtue

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Recent work on environmental virtue tends to focus on the role of virtues like love, care, respect, humility and wonder for nature. This essay considers the merits of regarding mercy for nature as an environmental virtue. It argues that mercy for nature is neither conceptually confused nor unacceptably anthropocentric, is exhibited by an important exemplar of environmental virtue, and is compatible with virtues of love, care, respect and humility. It also argues that efforts to inculcate environmental mercy may help facilitate the development of more caring, loving and respectful attitudes toward nature.

Keywords: compassion; environmental justice; forgiveness; nonathropocentrism; retribution

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-05-01

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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