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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Pantheism, Ethics and Ecology

Michael P. Levine

Environmental Values 3(1994): 121-138. doi: 10.3197/096327194776679737

Pantheism is a metaphysical and religious position. Broadly defined it is the view that (1) "God is everything and everything is God ... the world is either identical with God or in some way a self-expression of his nature" (H.P. Owen). Similarly, it is the view that (2) everything that exists constitutes a 'unity' and this all-inclusive unity is in some sense divine (A. MacIntyre). I begin with an account of what the pantheist's ethical position is formally likely to be (e.g. objectivist etc.). I then discuss the relationship between pantheism and ecology in the context of the search for the metaphysical and ethical foundations for an ecological ethic. It is claimed that it is no accident that pantheism is often looked to for such foundations.

KEYWORDS: Ecology, environment, ethics, pantheism, Spinoza

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