Ecofeminism and Environmental Ethics
This study focuses on ecofeminist ethical theory. A first aim is to clarify ecofeminist views on five central issues in the field of environmental ethics. These issues are: (1) Views of nature, (2) social constructivism and nature, (3) values of nature, (4) ethical contextualism, and (5) ethical pluralism. A second aim is to compare ecofeminist standpoints with certain standpoints within nonfeminist environmental ethical theory. A third aim is to critically discuss some of the main standpoints in ecofeminism. The analysis focuses on the works of Karen Warren, Sallie McFague, Chris Cuomo, and Carolyn Merchant. Other important sources are the environmental philosophers and ethicists J. Baird Callicott, Paul Taylor, Irene Klaver, Bryan G. Norton, Christopher Stone, Eugene Hargrove, Holmes Rolston III, Per Ariansen, Don E. Marietta, and Bruno Latour.The result of this study is that there are no main differences between ecofeminism and nonfeminist environmental ethics regarding the main standpoints on the five issues. Rather, the significant differences are found within these main standpoints. In addition, one important characteristic of ecofeminist ethics is its "double nature," that is, the fact that it is rooted in feminism and environmentalism. The double nature of ecofeminism results in a foundation out of which ecofeminism as an environmental philosophy has a unique potential to handle some of the theoretical tensions that environmental ethics creates.From the perspective that environmental problems consist of complex clusters of natureculture- discourse and that environmental ethical theory ought to be action guiding, it is argued that ecofeminist ethical theory has an advantage compared to nonfeminist environmental ethics. This standpoint is explained by the fact that ecofeminism holds a variety of views of nature, kinds of social constructivism and contextualism, and conceptions of values and of the self, and from the presumption that this variety reflects the reality of environmental problems. However, in order for ecofeminist ethical theory to fulfill its promise as an acceptable environmental ethical theory, its theoretical standpoints ought to be explicated and further clarified.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; History and philosophy subjects; Philosophy subjects; Ethics; Ecofeminism; environmental ethics; environmental ethical theory; ecofeminist ethical theory; views of nature; human/nature dualism; intrinsic value; intrinsic worth; social constructivism; ethical contextualism; intrapersonal pluralism; inconsistent self; cyborg self; practical ethics.; Etik; Ethics; etik
Date of Publication:01/01/2003