Minteer, Ben A., "No Experience Necessary? Foundationalism and the Retreat from Culture in Environmental Ethics"

Minteer, Ben A. "No Experience Necessary? Foundationalism and the Retreat from Culture in Environmental Ethics." Environmental Values 7, no. 3 (1998): 333–48. doi:10.3197/096327198129341618.

Many of the leading contributors to the field of environmental ethics demonstrate a preference for foundationalist approaches in their theoretical justifications of environmentalism. In this paper, I criticize this tendency as it figures in the work of Holmes Rolston III, J. Baird Callicott, and Eric Katz. I illustrate how these writers' desire for philosophical absolutes leads them to reject the moral resources present within human culture; a move that carries with it a number of troubling philosophical and political problems. I conclude that environmental theorists would be better served by taking a more contextual, social, and pragmatic approach to justifying their moral projects regarding nature, and that this mode of inquiry will ultimately lead toward a more philosophically sound and democratically authentic environmental ethics. (Source: The White Horse Press)

© 1998 The White Horse Press. Republished with permission..