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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Collective Environmental Virtue

David Clowney

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 315-333. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947900181194


I propose a notion of collective virtue that makes it easier to understand environmental harm, our biggest collective-action problem, as a moral problem for which we are all responsible. Following Larry May and Gregory Mellema, I distinguish individual from shared and from collective responsibility. I then introduce parallel distinctions between individual, shared and collective character. I explore the interaction between character traits at the individual and group levels, and finally show how these distinctions help to clarify how responsibility for collective action and character forms part of individual environmental virtue.


Environmental virtue, collective virtue, collective responsibility, virtue ethics, environmental virtue ethics

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Bystanding and Climate Change. Carol Booth

Morality and Climate Change: Is Leaving your TV on Standby a Risky Behaviour? Catherine Butler

Individual Guilt or Collective Progressive Action? Challenging the Strategic Potential of Environmental Citizenship Theory. Rasmus Karlsson

Bearing the Weight of the World: On the Extent of an Individual’s Environmental Responsibility. Ty Raterman

Editorial: Response and Responsibility. Clive L. Spash

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Price of Everything/Value of Nothing. Mark Whitehead

Sharing Responsibility for Divesting from Fossil Fuels. Eric S. Godoy

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