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Environmental Values

The Ethicist Conception of Environmental Problems

Barnabas Dickson

Environmental Values 9(2000): 127-152. doi: 10.3197/096327100129342001

Ethicist assumptions about the causes and solutions of environmental problems are widely held within environmental philosophy. It is typically assumed that an important cause of problems are the attitudes towards the natural environment held by individuals and that problems can be solved by getting people to adopt a more ethical orientation towards the environment. This article analyses and criticises these claims. Both the highly mediated nature of the relationship between individuals and the natural environment and the pervasive pressure on firms in market economies to reduce their costs provide reasons to question the ethicist assumptions.

KEYWORDS: ethicism, environmental ethics, environmental problems, solutions

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Can Environmental Ethics 'Solve' Environmental Problems and Save the World? Yes, but First We Must Recognise the Essential Normative Nature of Environmental Problems. Joel J. Kassiola

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