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Environmental Values

Environmental Thought as Cosmological Intervention

Allan Greenbaum

Environmental Values 8(1999): 485-497. doi: 10.3197/096327199129341932

ABSTRACT: An important tradition in popular and academic environmentalist thought concentrates on cosmological issues, to do with overarching (or underlying) views about the nature of reality and the place of humanity in nature. This tradition connects the environmental crisis with anthropocentric and mechanistic cosmologies, and tries to address this crisis through cosmological critique and reconstruction - a practice I call 'cosmological intervention'. This practice presupposes a link between 'world view' and 'ethos'. I argue that an environmentalist ethos does not necessarily or automatically follow from the world view elements propounded in cosmological interventions. Rather, world view symbolises ethos. Cosmologies favoured by environmentalists describe the abstract and necessary properties of the world in ways which reflect those concrete and contingent properties of the world that the ecology movement seeks to protect, extend and celebrate.

KEYWORDS: environment, cosmology, worldview, deep ecology, environmental thought

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Nature Connoisseurship. Allan Greenbaum

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