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The Map of Moral Significance: A New Axiological Matrix for Environmental Ethics

Bartbara Muraca

Environmental Values 20 (2011): 375-396. doi: 10.3197/096327111X13077055166063


One main issue within environmental ethics is the so-called Demarcation Problem, i.e. the question of which entities are members of the moral community and hold intrinsic value. I argue that the demarcation problem relies mainly on Kantian moral philosophy. While the Kantian framework offers a strong and immediately deontological argument for moral agents holding inherent moral values, it presents problems when stretched beyond its original scope and lacks an adequate ground for addressing relational complexity and the moral significance of collectives. In this paper I outline an alternative axiological framework ('map of moral significance') that relies on a relational ontology and encompasses intrinsic and relational values as the two equipollent axes of a matrix in which to embed the question posited by the Demarcation Problem.


Axiology, relational values, demarcation problem, eudaimonistic ethics, moral matrix

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Happiness and the Good Life. John O'Neill

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: To Act or Not to Act? Katie McShane

Décroissance: A Project for a Radical Transformation of Society.Barbara Muraca

A Teleological Approach to the Wicked Problem of Managing Utría National Park . Nicolás Acosta García, Katharine N. Farrell, Hannu I. Heikkinen, Simo Sarkki

Widening the Evaluative Space for Ecosystem Services: A Taxonomy of Plural Values and Valuation Methods. Paola Arias-Arévalo, Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Berta Martín-López, Mario Pérez-Rincón

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