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Environmental theory - Essay Example

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In his article “New Green Liberalism”, Simon Hailwood argues that the concepts of liberal environmental justice and ecological justice are continuations of the same thought. The author defines ecological justice as something based on a non-instrumental view of nature. In…
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Download file to see previous pages ?s otherness’ requires not identifying oneself (or one’s own interests, or indeed humanity or humanity’s interests) with wider nature, and recognizing that wider nature is not merely an extension of human culture (i.e., its material resource). Similarly, liberal ‘political reasonableness’ requires accepting neutrality the level of the justification of principles of justice; one should not expect them to enshrine one’s own conception of the good” (1). With nature considered to be something existent unto itself, it must be considered within the framework of political liberalism.
Having presented his argument and attempted to make it clear, the author then moves on to explore what he means more fully regarding ecological justice. This process starts with a more thorough exploration of what it might mean to take a non-instrumental view of nature and how to consider what it would mean to respect nature’s otherness. Essentially, he describes ‘nature as other’ as something “independent of, or not determined by, the significances attributed to it, and the modifications made to it, within local landscapes” (2). While he acknowledges that this is an imprecise definition, he also makes the case that it is precise enough for the purposes of his argument. To determine what it means to respect nature’s otherness, he then presents what he terms three fundamental truths that must be kept in mind. The first of these is that ideas of ‘awe and humility’ must be given priority over concepts of arrogance and superiority over nature as it simply exists. This suggests that humans should “maintain a respectful distance” from the idea of nature by avoiding making any express demands on it. This includes making any attempt to put its resources to meeting human consumption demands or to involve it as an object of human adoration. The two additional truths include the No Teleology Thesis and the Autonomy Thesis, each of which assert the concept ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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