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Environmental Philosophy Exam 2
Terms in this set (71)
- requires proportional risk-sharing: environmental risks/hazards should be distributed across various sub-groups of the general population in proportion to each group's relative size
-distributive equity from equal treatment and equal protection
-requires the equal treatment of all people in all ethical respects—not discriminating based on race/class in environmental decisions because those are irrelevant grounds for unequal treatment for distributive justice
-everyone has a right to life and thus equal right to bodily security→ without morally sufficient grounds allowing one group of people to bear more environmental risk than another is a violation of their rights
Free informed consent
-need to understand risks and benefits and having the right to accept/refuse proposed treatment
conditions for free informed consent
1. full disclosure of risks and benefits of proposed action
2. competence to evaluate dangers
3. dangers must be understood
4. acceptance must be voluntary (free of manipulation, coercion, undue influence)
grounds for justify informed consent
Human autonomy and self-protection
-capacity for self-determination
-Informed consent recognizes the people as worthy of being rational self-legislators
-informed consent helps safeguard individuals against unjustifiable harms and acknowledges the legitimacy different values and preferences
"lowerarchy of worry"
-jabbing at Maslow's "heirarchy of needs," which he thinks is false and more accurately the "lowerarchy of worry"
-in a market-based economy, sustaining demand is important for consumerist societies
-focus on psychology of it→ needs for comfort
-ex: having indoor plumbing, leading to having the room be cozy, to having aesthetically pleasing light fixtures
-trivialize basic needs for greater and greater comforts
-people aren't aware of the waste they create from comfort
Principle of Commensurate Benefits and Burdens
Getting a benefit causes one to take on the burdens from said benefit
CONCLUSION: "other things equal, justice requires that people's proximity to toxic wastes be related positively to their income and wealth"
-Society values the benefits associated generating from toxic wastes
-This consumption correlates income and wealth
-The ones who benefit from producing this waste should take on the greatest burdens in the waste disposal
LULU points system
-"locally undesirable land uses"--> communities are assigned a points system
-used with a scale of undesirables rated based on the probable effects on human health and responses to questionnaire designed to elicit people's levels of discomfort with that land use
-input on what the perception of the problem may be and input from the scientific community
-"necessity being the mother of invention"
Three species of equity
Procedural equity, Geographic equity, and Social equity
-non-discrimination in the drafting, adoption, administration and enforcement of governing rules, regulations, and evaluation criteria
-Unequal (discriminatory) protection results from nonscientific and undemocratic decisions
-location and spatial configurations of communities and their proximity to environmental hazards and locally undesirable land uses
-Zoning and permitting processes can contribute to geographic inequities
-refers to the role of sociological factors such as race, ethnicity, class, culture, lifestyles, and political power in environmental decision making
-reflection of one's community and culture in exposure levels
two of Bullard's five principles of environmental justice
1.) Prevention of harm
-"ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure"
-prevention, which involves the elimination of the threat before harm occurs, should be the preferred strategy of governments
e.g., remove lead from homes, don't merely treat lead poisoning
2.)Shift the burden of proof
-Readdressing past wrongs
-this principle would require the entities that are applying for operating permits for landfills, incinerators, smelters, etc., prove that their operations are not harmful to human health, will not disproportionately affect minorities or the poor and are nondiscriminatory
Core elements/guiding ideals of ecofeminism
-Community based knowledge—ground-up approach to policies because grass roots have intimate knowledge of that area
-Flexibility (not rule-bound rigidly), reflexivity (thinking toward oneself), inclusivity (no group is left out)
-Oppression as the result of multiple mutually reinforcing ideologies (think about feedback loops)--> Oppression is systemic—more than one dimension
-Gaard and Gruen
Any two of the five explanations that Gaard and Gruen present to explain "separation of humans from the natural world"
1.) Patriarchal domination
-evolutionary shift resulted from hunting behavior in males, which in turn resulted in destructive, competitive, and violent activity separated men from nature
-^"human social evolution"→ women were relegated to the non-culture, where they along with animals and nature were considered inferior to men because men were associated with death (hunting) and women with life (childbirth)
2.) woman-animal connection→ both are seen as Other
-feminization/naturalization/animalization are referred to in subordination
-ex. of this: "mother nature," "rape of nature," "virgin forests," "pussy," "bitch," "old hen," etc.
-inferiority status reinforced through this women's-animal-nature relationship
-Gaard and Gruen
Statement/explanation of psychocentrism
Focus of moral consideration to extend to included select nonhuman animals or all living things
advocate of utilitarian perspective--> using something for a good or service
Principle of Equality of Consideration
-The interests of every being affected by an action are to be taken into account and given the same weight as the like interests of any other being
-Well-being, quality of life
-capacity for feeling pleasure and pain
-Because animals feel sentience, we can't use them for our own interests
evidence for pain
-Behavioral, Physiological, and Anatomical
-many non-human animals writhe, contort their faces, moan, yelp, and give an appearance of fear when subject to (intuitively) painful stimuli
-many non-human animal show an initial rise in blood pressure, dilate their pupils, perspire, and undergo and increase in pulse rate (with an eventual decrease in pulse rate) when subject to (intuitively) painful stimuli.
-basic emotions, impulses, and feelings are located in the diencephalon, a part of the brain which is well-developed in many different animals (especially in other mammals and birds). Many different non-human animals have brain structures similar to humans and nervous systems that transmit signals and information about the animal's environment to and from the brain.
Reasons why certain stimuli will cause more pain in humans than in other non-human animals and vice versa
-Singer points out that our knowledge of the mental states of other humans is based on exactly the same type of evidence (behavioral, physiological and anatomical)
Examples for the differences in pain between humans and non-humans
1.)horse slapping example
-net pleasure = total pleasure - total pain
-ex: equal force of slapping a horse vs. a baby→ the horse will feel little/no pain and the baby will feel immense pain (difference in pain thresholds)--> what matters morally is what "felt pain" is, not the force of the pain-inducing stimulus
2.) human versus mouse with cancer example
-net total of pain felt by human > net total of pain felt by the mouse (supports utilitarian view)
-pain in human may be more than the mouse--> more awareness mentally/emotionally in human than the mouse (ex: anxieties, fear of death, emotional toll on family and friends)
determining how bad/good a pain/pleasure sensation is
-intensity and duration
How/why Singer thinks Equality of Consideration prohibits "speciesism"?
-Principle of Equality of Consideration implies that all sentient life should be protected (to the extent possible), regardless of which species a being is a member of
-Speciesism is wrong, like racism because it gives special interest to one's own species
-critic of Singer's premise that "a thing has interests if and only if it is sentient"
Frey's objection to pain as a necessary condition of having interests
*Frey's target: If X has interests, then X can feel pleasure and pain
-counterexample 1: soldier who can't feel sensory pain but still has interest in being cared for
==>possible response from Singer: can't/doesn't the soldier still feel emotional pain?
-counterexample 2: privacy rights→ have interest without them
-ex: you wouldn't want a landlord setting up a video camera in your apartment, ergo you have interests even if you aren't aware of them
-Karen Quinlen (sp.?)→ coma patient in a vegetative state; no sentience, but still have interests (privacy, bodily interests, etc.)
==>possible response from Singer: "My argument doesn't need a sentience as a necessary condition of having interests. I only need sentience as a sufficient condition for having interest."
Frey's objection to pain as a sufficient condition of having interests
*Frey's target: if X can feel pleasure and pain, then X has interests
-"sinful" pain is not necessarily contrary to one's interests
-pain can be transvaluated (pain can be good), and pleasure can be bad (ex: doctor braking limbs of coma patients for pleasure)
==>possible response from Singer: "yes, but we're interested in innocent pain. That's bad in contrary to one's interest."
Singer's criterion for having interests: a thing has interests IF AND ONLY IF it is sentient
-Frey objects to this criterion in both directions (left to right, which states that the capacity for experiencing pleasure and pain is a necessary condition of having interests, and right to left, which states that having the capacity for experiencing pleasure and pain is a sufficient condition for having interests.)
-sophisticated in doing right and wrong
-capable of being righted and wronged
"right of Respect"
-a right of respect is a right not to have one's basic interests, goals, and needs neglected, thwarted, disrupted, and so on
-Having inherent worth provides one a right of respect
"subject of a life"
-gives one inherent worth; having a point of view on the world, when it is a center of intentional activity
-"right of Respect"
Features that tend to make something a "subject of a life"
-Creatures who are "subjects of a life" typically satisfy some cluster of the following properties: They
--Have perceptual capabilities
--Wants and prefers things
--Have an ability to initiate action in pursuit of goals/desires
--Recall and expects things
--Can experience pleasure and pain;
--Have an emotional life
--Have a capacity for frustration and satisfaction
--Have an interest in continued existence (and has a psychophysical identity over time)
Logical relationship between being a subject of a life, possessing inherent worth, and having a right to be respected
~Subject of a life→ inherent worth→ right of respect (non-interference)~
-Regan believes that all being who are "subjects of a life" have inherent worth. Inherent worth does not come in variable degrees. Any being that has inherent worth has it equally and thus enjoys an equally strong "right of respect" (a right not to be used as a tool or device in the satisfaction of another's wants, desires or interests)
Any one of Warren's three criticisms of Regan
-No sharp line between those things that are subjects of a life and those that are not. But this is odd, since this property is supposed to establish a clear dividing line between those things with moral rights and those things that lack moral rights. Thus, this vague underlying property of being a subject of a life is ill-suited to ground the stark distinction between having rights and lacking them. It seems more plausible to say that if being a subject of a life is relevant to having inherent worth, then inherent worth comes in degrees (since being a subject of a life clearly does).
"weak animal rights"
*moral rights of most non-human animals are not necessarily identical in strength to people--> for instance, compelling realities which sometimes require that we kill animals for reasons which could not justify the killing of persons
*How can we justify regarding the rights of persons as generally stronger than those of sentient beings which are not persons?
Humans have stronger rights claims than non-human animals since we are at least sometimes capable of being moved to action or inaction by the force of reasoned argument--> we are able to "listen to reason" in order to settle conflicts and cooperate in shared projects; We cannot see animals as equals because we cannot reason/compromise/solve problems with them
*we shouldn't be cruel to non-human animals who are subjects of a life (they are creatures with inherent value/worth); but we might be justified in overriding any rights they may have to satisfy our own needs, especially if those needs are fundamental (food, clothing, subsistence, etc.).
Rachels' argument for vegetarianism and descriptions of how Rachels supports the main premises of this argument
*pain requires justification→ it is wrong to cause pain unless there is good enough reason
*animal pain/suffering→ scientific evidence of animal capacity for pain; animals are not able to express basic instincts when confined
~potential justifiers will say non-vegetarian lifestyle is acceptable for nourishment and taste
*counter: insufficient justification→ since one could obtain adequate nourishment without meat taste, the remaining factor that could potentially justify pain in animal pain (taste doesn't outweigh animal pain)
*conclusion 1: therefore we should stop eating the animal products produced by industrial scale agriculture
*bridging assumption: there are many non-factory farmed animal products that could meet our dietary needs
*conclusion 2: we (people in industrialized countries) should be vegetarians
Any two of Pollan's possible criticisms of Rachels' argument
-some animals don't feel pain in the same way or to the same degree as humans; perhaps animals don't experience death as a form of suffering; perhaps many creatures (shrimp, mollusks, etc. don't register pain at all). Of course, Pollan also acknowledges that distinctions between pain and suffering don't apply to modern, factory farmed animals. (Pollan thinks cows, pigs, chickens, and so on can suffer)
-more is at stake in the ethics of eating meat than whether taste preference outweighs animal suffering.
-cultural and psychological factors are relevant as well. For example, Pollan says that Rachels, Singer and others neglect that eating meat makes one more "sociable" and reflects deep cultural practices and traditions and ties us to "family, religion, history, geography" and so on.
-not eating meat alienates him from his "biological inheritance"--> eating meat has deep biological roots (akin to sexual desire)
-the shape, location, and fertility of the land can affect the ethics of eating meat (thus making the raising animals for food in some locations (e.g., rocky, less fertile places in parts of New England) more defensible than in others)
-animal rights/liberation ethics misunderstands (or fails to appreciate) more holistic, ecological perspectives on the human/non-human relationship (a relationship marked by domestication and symbiosis)
Pollan's own view on the ethics of eating meat and how that view differs from the "animal rights" perspective
-eye contact of animals that we eat
-transparency (intimacy and respecting it)→ animals have a different way of confronting death
-Equal membership of all living things in Earth's community
-Humans are not inherently superior to other living things
-There are "higher" organisms
-Some "things" have value, some "things" don't
"good" of an individual
-The "good" of an individual is its full development of biological powers--> it's good is realized to the extent that it is strong and healthy.
difference between "having a good" and "having/taking an interest in one's good"
-Does NOT entail that the being must have interests or take an interest in what affects its life for better or for worse
-Ex. trees have no knowledge of feelings, but can be harmed or benefitted by our actions (watered vs. cut down)
-The concept of a being's good is not coextensive with sentience or the capacity for feeling pain.
Taylor's argument for Biocentric Egalitarianism
1. All living things are "teleological centers of life"
=goal oriented; end goal; maintain's organism's existence; successfully performs bio. operations
2. If something is a teleological center of life, then it has a "good of its own."
NOT EQUIVALENT to "having interests"
Good= achievement of its biologically assigned end [fulfillment of biological powers]
3. If a thing has a good of its own, then it has inherent worth (or, intrinsic value). SInce living things have a good of its own, they have inherent worth.
4. Things with inherent worth/intrinsic value deserve moral respect
Conclusion: Therefore, all life deserves moral respect.
Biocentric belief system
"with equal membership, interdependence, biological creatures as teleological centers, and egalitarian value judgement"
Four components of a Biocentric belief system (1)
-Equal membership: Humans are members of the Earth's community of life in the same sense and on the same terms as all other living things (this follows from the definition of "membership" and the trivial observation that we are not the Earth's only inhabitants)
Four components of a Biocentric belief system (2)
-Interdependence: All species, including humans, are part of a system of interdependence (this premise is supported by basic ecology)
Four components of a Biocentric belief system (3)
-Biological creatures are teleological centers of life activity: All living things pursue their own good in their own ways (a biological observation).
Four components of a Biocentric belief system (4)
-Egalitarian value judgment: Humans are not inherently superior to other living things. Taylor thinks the concept of inherent human superiority is "groundless" and "nothing more that an irrational bias in our favor" (p. 178). Taylor thinks that the notion of human superiority has a troubling social origin in class-structured societies, rife with error, bias, superstition, etc.
-Class-structured societies (upper and lower): one's superiority or inferiority derived from one's social position. One could not, by one's "merits" ascend from the lower class to the upper class; class position was a permanent, hereditary feature of an individual.
-In modern democracies, Taylor maintains that we reject this rigid hierarchy of worth based on hereditary, social position, but do so only in the human realm. Although we regard humans, qua humans, as possessing equal inherent value, we view ourselves as the top of a distinct hierarchy - one between humans and non-humans.
Insect example and why Kawall thinks it shows an element of biocentrism in Western moral thought
-If you are walking along the sidewalk and see an insect, you can avoid killing it by not stepping on it => some degree of intrinsic value
-"The case also lets us avoid charges of naive anthropomorphism. We aren't giving the insect a name, or talking about its plans, etc. Nor do we attribute any mental states to the insect. There is no claim that the insect would suffer. We are simply considering an insect without any further anthropomorphizing details. Thus, our moral intuitions seem to be grounded simply in the fact that this is a living creature that we would be destroying. Of course, I do not claim that everyone will share this reaction to the insect example. But at the very least, it seems a very common reaction-and shows that a virtue of reverence for life may not be as foreign to common Western moral intuition as we might initially expect. It is important to show that there is a plausible virtue and value at stake here-one which many people acknowledge at a certain level"
Kawall's virtue-exemplar method for implementing biocentrism
-if we develop into a virtuous character through modeling virtuous behavior from virtuous others, it will in turn allow us make proper judgements
non-violence and non-possession in Jainism
-From practicing a life of non-violence, one's life force (soul) is cleansed, and rid of karma. The ultimate quest is purification through vegetarianism.
non-violence and non-possession grounded in Jainist cosmology
-Cosmology maintains that humans dwell in a universe suffused with life
"goal" of Buddhism
-The goal of Buddhism is to transcend all self-concept and overcome all constraints of past karma. And, erase personal attachment and identity. In order to overcome past karma, one must not be attached to one's body or the bodies of others, crave feelings/sense perceptions, fall under the sway of past actions, or identify with the contents of one's awareness.
-not always vegetarians
Jainism and Buddhism reflect and support biocentric values
-Janinism in India take part in reforestation projects and "re-greening" of areas. They contribute to the ideal that "balanced development takes place only when there is a simultaneous development of human values and the environment is protected."
-Buddhists campaign against the logging of teak and other precious woods, campaigning against commercial eucalyptus, and restoration of grasslands
Why Dwivedi thinks religion can change the attitudes of humans towards nature
-Religion could create a self-consciously moral society which would put conservation and respect for God's creations first, and relegate individualism, materialism, and our modern desire to dominate nature in a subordinate place.
-religion helps place worth/value on a thing that science cannot determine
*an action requires belief; desire and/or value
-ex: if you value honesty, it will perpetuate a desire to be honest
-Ex: if you are thirsty and believe there is water in a cup, you will drink the water. But, if there isn't desire (thirst) or belief (that water is in the cup), then you will not drink
"sanctity of life" principle in Hinduism
-God has complete sovereignty over all creatures, therefore humans do not have dominion over their own lives or the lives of non-humans
Hindu theology's support of "duties to animals"
-idea of incarnation through various species—there is a cycle of birth and rebirth, and a person can come back as any animal, which deserves respect and also reverence
Hindu theology's support of "protection of flora"
-trees symbolizing attributes of God and having divine powers, they also worship plants based on utility, religious duty, and mythology
Hindu theology's support of "prevention of pollution"
-humanity's relationship to nature in maintaining proper sanitation, and also revering water for its purification and energy properties
Hindu duties reflect "satyagraha"
-conservation, preservation, and awakening of the Hindu spirit and "truth," the fundamentals to religious duties will act as an authority to use natural resources
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