Is it necessary for Man to make a permanent adaptation, of both his organism and his thoughts, to his universal environment? Effects of technology, industry, economic expansion, population growth on the environment. Strong and weak, enlightened/prudential anthropocentrism and the reason of human duties.
Degradation of ecosystems, climate change, and moral obligations in the face of such concerns. Do humans have duties with respect to the environment? Which ones and why? Land Ethic : on decisions without a framework. Is there such a thing as genetic or cultural determinism, referring to the evolutionary interactivity and reactivity of the living being with his surroundings?
Legal and moral standing of animals. In a universal environment still as much as 90% unknown, how can one not be locked in premature schemata and quests for answers? The economic approach in defining the value of natural objects.
How to define precisely a correlation with one’s own environment, knowing that human thought is one of the most impacting manifestations of the living being and an agent of constant transformation of this environment? The interconnection between ethical and aesthetic responses to nature.
Is the organized collective thought of humanity, and in general humanity’s evolutionary culture, the key to the development of our species in its universal environment, and the key to a possibly significant interactive modification, in the long term, of this environment? « Limits to Growth » and the call for a basic change of values in connection to the environment.
What are the consequences of the concept of progressive permanent adaptation in its scientific aspects and in its metaphysical dimension? Religious thinking encouraging the overexploitation of nature. The « Population Bomb » : growth of population as a threat to the viability of planetary life-support systems.
Does integration into a dynamically complex living system give the human existence and destiny a new sense? What expresses and encourages environmental humanism? On human beings who do not yet exist. Future individuals and the trans-generational reciprocity.
What is to live in common symbiosis with one’s local and global bioscape in evolution? And for preserving the planetary equilibrium of the Earth – is solidarity of all of mankind necessary, and if so, feasible? Should the environment and its non-human contents have a value in their own right and a moral status, and if yes how are these to be defined?
On Sentient Animals / Individual Living Organisms / Holistic Entities (rivers, species, ecosystems). What is an ethical relationship with the natural environment? Anthropocentrism – granting moral standing solely to human beings. Why should ethics be extended beyond humanity?
Is the necessity for the protection of the integrity of the ecosystem morally permissible? Criticism of the western super-ethic, or human chauvinism. The moral duty of species protection. Is nature valuable or sacred? The moral/legal standing of natural objects. The exemple of the legal rights of forests.
Defining Sentience. Is animal liberation legitimate? On unjustifiable interference with natural processes. Should we stop predator animals from killing their prey? The rise of “green” parties and the schism between realist and “fundamentalist” groups. “Shallow” an “deep” environmental movements.
Is biospheric egalitarianism relevant? “Reverence for Life”: do all living things have a will to live? Is struggle for survival a conscious volition? Teleological centres of life and the full development of an organism’s biological powers as an inherent value. Clash of interests. How humans constantly have to harm living things in order to survive.
Ecology’s cultural elitism and imperialism – on Green missionaries as the enemies of the world’s poor (the R. Guha criticism). Is ecological destruction a characteristic of male-dominated culture? Is it an extension of the oppression of women? Feminist environmental ethics and the male-centric character of all oppressive structures.
Environmental record of communist countries. Are natural processes predictable and subject to manipulation? Rethinking positivistic rationality. Freedom, spontaneity and creativity in nature/life. Fascination for nature and the limits of animism, both old and new.
Social Ecology and bio-regionalism. The idea of culture as second nature. Are environment problems social problems? The sirens of eco-fascism and misanthropy/ totalitarianism. The « thin and the thick » concepts of morality. Virtue ethics and nature. Causes of anthropogenic environmental devastation.
Wilderness and built environment. Destruction of traditional housing, destruction of anti-natural languages as compared to destruction of bio-communities. The urban space as environment. What about non-natural objects? Emotions and feelings as questionable foundations of environmental ethics. Wilderness tourism and the “natural aristocrats”.
Are humans « the planetary cancer »? To which extent are environment problems economic problems? Other necessary links with biology, policy studies, public administration, cultural history, post-colonial theory, geography and human ecology. Environment, justice and economy as reflected on poverty.
Environmental pathologies, alarmism and catastrophists. Climate change as a severe threat to international security. Environmental refugees, health decline issues and environmental justice. The importance of the intergenerational aspect.
Adventures of biocentrism and its three forms: minimalist, egalitarian, and middle-term. Why every organism should have an inherent value? The concept of intrinsic value in ecosystems. The proximity argument: why are we first morally obliged to what is closer? Is biocide a human suicide?
Criticism and attacks on ecology. The eco-development versus the liberal conception (: lesser quality of life is not an option). Progress on some issues, neglect of others (desertification, allocation of water resources). Are the thought schemes of ecology obsolete, going back to the 17th century’s investigations of the relationship between humans and nature?
Do holistic ethics sacrifice human beings? Environmental impacts of wars. Dangers of genetic engineering. Resource Needs and Allocation. On over-consumption. Green Economy: limits and deviances, application issues. Is there such a thing as a “green dictatorship”?
On vegetarianism and animal welfare, including religion-based resources. Radiation and nuclear responsibility. Ozone Crisis and Global Warming. On indigenous people. The Third World Network.
Environmental education and green schools. The future of environmental ethics : – Changes in politics and the possible failure of protocols. – Role of business in tackling environmental problems. – How other areas will be affected (climate change transforming housing, sanitation, health, and jobs).
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