ENVIRONMENT - VIRTUE ETHICS

a2 ethics environment and virtue ethics with OCR

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  • Created on: 04-06-12 20:19
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Applying Virtue Ethics to the Environment
In brief, Virtue Ethics
o Is not action centred (what should I do?)
o Is not rule centred (what rule should I follow?)
o Is not about pleasing a God
o Is not based entirely on reason or emotion
o Is not extremist ­ it seeks a middle way or `golden mean' in everything
o Is about eudaimonia... human flourishing
o Is about practicing a range of virtues, skills or qualities that may make one a better
person... happier and flourishing...
Traditional environmental ethics, as well as being incomplete, is unbalanced. This is because it
does not fully address how environmental issues rebound on us and shape the kind of people
we are.
EVE theorists see a virtuous life in nature as a necessary condition for human flourishing and
progression towards Aristotle's state Eudaimonia. To achieve Eudaimonia one must exercise
and develop virtuous qualities that are most productive for society and now the
environment.
Extremes of behaviour ­ a vice of deficiency or excess are unhelpful to society and the
environment. A virtue is found in the golden mean, and EVE attempts to explore the virtuous
qualities that are required to live a flourishing life in nature.
SPHERE OF EXCESS MEAN DEFICIENCY EXAMPLES
ACTION OR
FEELING
Fear and Rashness Courage Cowardice Environmental
Confidence campaigner
Pleasure and Pain Self-indulgence Temperance Insensibility Vegetarianism
Travel
Getting and Prodigality Liberality Illiberality Consumption
Spending (minor) Meanness Fair-trade
Sustainability
Organics
Getting and Vulgarity Magnificence Pettiness Consumerism
Spending (major) Tastelessness Stinginess Technology
Housing
Honour and Ambition Proper Unambitiousness Animal rights
Dishonour (minor) Empty vanity ambition/pride Undue humility Carbon footprint

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