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Towards an Adequate Environmental Virtue Ethic

Ronald Sandler

Environmental Values 13(2004): 477-495. doi: 10.3197/0963271042772596

In this article I consider four concerns regarding the possibility of an environmental virtue ethic functioning as an alternative - rather than a supplement - to more conventional approaches to environmental ethics. The concerns are: (1) it is not possible to provide an objective specification of environmental virtue, (2) an environmental virtue ethic will lack the resources to provide critique of obtaining cultural practices and policies, (3) an environmental virtue ethic will not provide sufficient action-guidance, (4) an environmental virtue ethic cannot ground constraints on human activities regarding the natural environment. Each of these concerns makes a claim about the poverty of normative resources at the disposal of environmental virtue ethics. I defend a conception of environmental virtue - as a character virtue with the same normative standing as the conventional personal and interpersonal virtues - that enables an environmental virtue ethic with the wherewithal to address each of the concerns.


KEYWORDS: Virtue ethics, normativity, ecological sensitivity

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

No Experience Necessary? Foundationalism and the Retreat from Culture in Environmental Ethics. Ben A. Minteer

Saving Nature, Feeding People, and the Foundations of Ethics. Holmes Rolston, III

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Deliberating Intergenerational Environmental Equity: A Pragmatic, Future Studies Approach. Matthew Cotton


This article is available online (PDF format) from Ingenta Journals. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values. Reprints of this article can be ordered from ingenta or the British Library

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