What is Ethics without Justice? Reframing Environmental Ethics for Social Justice
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The field of environmental ethics has been in discussion and debate the past 40 years over how to best expand the circle of moral consideration away from a privileged human perspective to encompass the rest of the non-human world in order to change minds and social practices to address environmental degradation and destruction. One of the main methods is devoted to arguing for the intrinsic value of non-human lives and places as the means to do this. I argue that this method of environmental ethics because it, at best, is a lazy framework for moral deliberation that ignores the entangled sociopolitical and environmental complexity of a situation by reducing the answer to a single set of predetermined values and interests which (re)produces and reinforces social and environmental injustice. An environmental pragmatist approach geared towards addressing environmental injustice is a better way of addressing both environmental degradation and social inequalities.
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