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Deep time and environmental ethics

Attfield, Robin 2022. Deep time and environmental ethics. Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, Ecology 26 (3) , pp. 242-248. 10.1163/15685357-tat00004

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This paper employs the concept of deep time to supply a philosophical argument about the kind of environmental ethics required in the present. Considerations from the evolutionary past are deployed to support the intrinsic value of health and well-being in addition to that of pleasure. The well-being of a species is held to consist in that of its individual members, past, present and future. Duties to species accordingly include promoting the well-being of future species members, since the impacts of human actions in a technological age are spread out across the future. These impacts include impacts on non-human species after humanity has become extinct; if these impacts matter, then a non-anthropocentric ethic is needed to explain why they do, since an anthropocentric ethics is incapable of explaining this.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
ISSN: 1363-5247
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 24 March 2023
Date of Acceptance: 18 April 2022
Last Modified: 20 May 2023 17:46

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