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Environmental Values

Response to Brady, Phillips and Rolston

Susan Stewart

Environmental Values 15(2006): 315-320. doi: 10.3197/096327106778226301


A response to conference papers by Brady, Phillips, and Rolston on aesthetics and environmentalism, this essay argues that sound environmental policy might begin with basic questions about the purpose and extent of human life, for such policies shape human nature as they also shape the phenomenal world. Decisions based upon short-lived economic conditions cannot provide those long-term benefits necessary for the preservation of the environment. Aesthetic judgments, because they are reflective, help us anthropomorphise ourselves; along with scientific judgments, they might serve as foundational, rather than auxiliary, practices for determining the future of our finite planet.

KEYWORDS: Aesthetics, ethics, disinterestedness, life forms, environmentalism

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Aesthetics in Practice: Valuing the Natural World. Emily Brady

Thoreau's Aesthetics and 'The Domain of the Superlative'.Dana Phillips

Caring for Nature: What Science and Economics Can't Teach Us but Religion Can. Holmes Rolston, III

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