SAAP Annual Meeting 2013

Papers Proceedings »

Environmental Pragmatism, Immediate Value, and a Sense of Place

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Kelvin Booth
Thompson Rivers Univeristy

Environmental ethics, as distinct from meta-ethics and metaphysics, does not have to pursue the debate about the existence of intrinsic values in nature. Whether or not there are such things makes no difference to the resolution of environmental issues, since even intrinsic values must be considered instrumentally if they are going to have any import in practical affairs. More important is the relationship between values as immediately experienced and values that are the result of appraisal and judgment. Once we see environmental values as emerging out of this relationship we can ask what sort of immediate values support an effective environmental ethic, and what sort of judgments might emerge from them. Democratic value pluralism and a theory of valuation are important, but not sufficient for environmental pragmatism. Required also is a sense of place and a commitment to place to ground immediate values.


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