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Environmental Values

Finding - and Failing to Find - Meaning in Nature

Simon P. James

Environmental Values 22 (2013): 609-625. doi: 10.3197/096327113X13745164553833


This paper is about how we should evaluate our tendencies to find - or fail to find - different meanings in the natural world. It has three aims: (1) to show that some virtues and vices can be exhibited in our tendencies to find or to overlook the meanings of natural things, even if it is unclear whether any can only be exhibited in our relations with such things; (2) to categorise some of the relevant virtues and vices; and (3) to refute the objection that meaning-focused approaches to environmental philosophy, of the sort adopted by writers such as Alan Holland and myself, cannot adequately account for nature's independence from human concerns.


Nature, virtue theory, meaning, anthropocentrism, aesthetics

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Unprojected Value, Unfathomed Caves and Unspent Nature: Reply to an Editorial. Robin Attfield

Do Meaningful Relationships with Nature Contribute to a Worthwhile Life?Dan Firth

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Equity, Ethics and Evidence in Environmental Governance. Claudia Carter

The Virtues of Acknowledged Ecological Dependence: Sustainability, Autonomy and Human Flourishing.Mike Hannis

Rewilding in Layered Landscapes as a Challenge to Place Identity. Martin Drenthen

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