The Ethics of the Global Environment

The Ethics of the Global Environment

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This book defends a cosmopolitan ethic, that of biocentric consequentialism, and applies it to a range of global environmental issues (e.g. resources, population, biodiversity loss) and policies (e.g.sustainable development, population policies, biodiversity preservation.) It also applies this ethic to global justice, international order, intergenerational equity, decision-making, models of agency and global citizenship. It thus supplies an ethical critique of current international environmental problems and negotiations, and the shape which international regimes will need in order to cope with global environmental problems.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 24mm | 584g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 0748608958
  • 9780748608959

Review quote

An interesting and useful contribution to ethical and political discussion of global or international topics. -- Brenda Almond I strongly recommend the book as a most significant contribution to the growing debate on globalism. Environmental Politics ... While Attfield's book Value, Obligation and Meta-Ethics provides the fullest presentation and defence of his extremely impressive ethical theory, The Ethics of the Global Environment shows how that theory can be applied to some of the most pressing global issues of the day ... [Attfield] argues that the concept 'global environment' is not only coherent but also indispensable. He defends the notion of 'stewardship' - in particular, regarding humans as trustees of the planet - and argues that it allows of a secular as well as a Judaic, Christian and Islamic interpretation. Furthermore, he offers a distinctive construal of 'sustainable development', tying 'development' to 'the satisfaction of basic neeeds, including needs for individual autonomy and for making meaningful contributions to society' (p.98). Wha, then, of Attfield's ethical system? It is cosmopolitan in refusing to draw ethical boundaries around one's own community. It is consequentialist in claiming that actions are right when they conform with practices whose general recognition would bring about the greatest overall good or, where practices do not apply, when an action's foreseeable consequences would consist in the greatest overall balance of good over bad. And it is biocentric in ascribing intrinsic value to the good of all living beings. Attfield argues that whatever has a good of its own has moral standing, and that all living creatures have a good of their own. However, this is not to say that all living beings have equal moral significance ... if one wants a book that is at once innovatory and relatively introductory and, what is more, that can show the real relevance of philosophy today, Attfield's The Ethics of the Global Environment is certainly to be recommended. Mind A clear and well-informed introduction to the global environmental challenges of the millennium, the ethical dilemmas that underpin these challenges and a constructive framework for resolving them. The book is structured and written in a clear and comprehensible manner, making it accessible to a wide audience. Moreover, it has something for everyone ... [it] is enriched by Attfield's deep awareness of inter-linkages between international economic and environment policies ...The Ethics of the Global Environment is a valuable addition to the literature on international environmental issues and indeed critical reading for those seeking an ethical anchor to the study of global environmental issues and their resolution. Review of European Community and International Environmental Law Something quite unusual: what Hare might regard as a genuine work in applied ethics...if one wants a book that is at once innovatory and relatively introductory, and, what is more, that can show the real relevance of philosophy today, Attfield's The Ethics of the Global Environment is certainly to be recommended. Mind An interesting and useful contribution to ethical and political discussion of global or international topics. I strongly recommend the book as a most significant contribution to the growing debate on globalism. ... While Attfield's book Value, Obligation and Meta-Ethics provides the fullest presentation and defence of his extremely impressive ethical theory, The Ethics of the Global Environment shows how that theory can be applied to some of the most pressing global issues of the day ... [Attfield] argues that the concept 'global environment' is not only coherent but also indispensable. He defends the notion of 'stewardship' - in particular, regarding humans as trustees of the planet - and argues that it allows of a secular as well as a Judaic, Christian and Islamic interpretation. Furthermore, he offers a distinctive construal of 'sustainable development', tying 'development' to 'the satisfaction of basic neeeds, including needs for individual autonomy and for making meaningful contributions to society' (p.98). Wha, then, of Attfield's ethical system? It is cosmopolitan in refusing to draw ethical boundaries around one's own community. It is consequentialist in claiming that actions are right when they conform with practices whose general recognition would bring about the greatest overall good or, where practices do not apply, when an action's foreseeable consequences would consist in the greatest overall balance of good over bad. And it is biocentric in ascribing intrinsic value to the good of all living beings. Attfield argues that whatever has a good of its own has moral standing, and that all living creatures have a good of their own. However, this is not to say that all living beings have equal moral significance ... if one wants a book that is at once innovatory and relatively introductory and, what is more, that can show the real relevance of philosophy today, Attfield's The Ethics of the Global Environment is certainly to be recommended. A clear and well-informed introduction to the global environmental challenges of the millennium, the ethical dilemmas that underpin these challenges and a constructive framework for resolving them. The book is structured and written in a clear and comprehensible manner, making it accessible to a wide audience. Moreover, it has something for everyone ... [it] is enriched by Attfield's deep awareness of inter-linkages between international economic and environment policies ...The Ethics of the Global Environment is a valuable addition to the literature on international environmental issues and indeed critical reading for those seeking an ethical anchor to the study of global environmental issues and their resolution. Something quite unusual: what Hare might regard as a genuine work in applied ethics...if one wants a book that is at once innovatory and relatively introductory, and, what is more, that can show the real relevance of philosophy today, Attfield's The Ethics of the Global Environment is certainly to be recommended.show more

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