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Environmental Values

Non-Humean Holism, Un-Humean Holism

Y.S. Lo

Environmental Values 10(2001): 113-123. doi: 10.3197/096327101129340778

In this article I argue that textual evidence from David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature does not support J. Baird Callicott's professedly Humean yet holistic environmental ethic, which understands the community (e.g., the biotic community) as a 'metaorganismic' entity 'over and above' its individual members. Based on Hume's reductionist account of the mind and his assimilation of the metaphysical nature of the mind to that of the community, I also argue that a Humean account of the community should be likewise reductionist. My conclusion is that Callicott's anti-reductionist holism is at least foreign to, and at worst incompatible with, Hume's philosophy.


KEYWORDS: Hume, Callicott, holism, community, individual, sympathyEnvironmental Values:

Humean Nature Alan Carter

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

A Humean Argument for the Land Ethic? Y.S. Lo


The Moral Worth of Creatures: Neo-Classical Metaphysics and the Value Theories of Rolston and Callicott. Francisco Benzoni


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