SAAP Annual Meeting 2015

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Pragmatism's Environmental Ethics

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Natural piety is the moral ideal that comes to the fore of Dewey’s thought about value in A Common Faith. That moral ideal in Dewey’s thought is comprehensive, but in particular it covers human moral relations to our natural environment. Conflicting ideals of human relations to our environment, however, are dominant within the Western intellectual world; these conflicting ideals rest on one or another ideology—of morality, religion or science—that seeks rational coercion of human respect for our environment. I elaborate the ideal of natural piety, contrast it with other ways of engendering respect for our environment, and argue that it embodies the only ideologically neutral and effective way of securing proper moral respect for our common environment.

Author(s):

Stuart Rosenbaum    
Baylor University
United States

 

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