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Environmental Values

Evaluating Callicott's Attack on Stone's Moral Pluralism

Darren Domsky

Environmental Values 10(2001): 395-415. doi: 10.3197/096327101129340895

J. Baird Callicott is well known in environmental philosophy for his attack on Christopher D. Stone's moral pluralism. Although his attack has drawn attention from critics and has been labelled problematic for various reasons, I argue that it fails entirely. Each of Callicott's three distinct criticisms proves to be not only weak on its own terms, but, perhaps surprisingly, as effective against Callicott's own communitarian position as it is against Stone's pluralist one. I show that Callicott's attack is not only wholly ineffective in targeting Stone, but that even if it were so effective it would on every count be just as effective in targeting its own originator.

KEYWORDS: J. Baird Callicott, Christopher D. Stone, moral pluralism, communitarianism, ethical monism, environmental ethics

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