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Environmental Values

Does Environmental Pragmatism Shirk Philosophical Duty?

Christopher H. Pearson

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 335-352. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13947900181879


Environmental pragmatism is routinely characterised as an environmental philosophy that rejects the traditional values questions within environmental ethics. Critics of environmental pragmatism, in turn, complain that it cannot be characterised as an environmental philosophy, since it evades precisely the philosophical issues with which environmental philosophers are supposed to engage. This essay works to defend environmental pragmatism against the charge that it necessarily evades the central questions of environmental ethics. I argue that environmental pragmatism need not reject foundational questions regarding values and nature; however, I contend that the meaningfulness of such questions to a pragmatist depends firstly on reframing them in terms of a valuing relation, and secondly on a turn to the insights of moral psychology.


Environmental pragmatism, intrinsic value, moral psychology, ecopsychology

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

The Pragmatic Power and Promise of Theoretical Environmental Ethics: Forging a New Discourse J. Baird Callicott

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

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

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