PHIL 224, Week 5
Assignment 2 is due Oct. 27. Instructions.
Genetically Modified Organisms
Consequentialist arguments against
- Health dangers
- Control of agriculture by a few large companies, e.g. Monsanto
- Loss of genetic diversity leading to future disasters
Consequentialist arguments for
- Reduce world hunger
- Increase profits for farmers
Rights & duties arguments against
- Farmers lose right to buy seeds
Rights & duties arguments for
- Farmers have right to use products they think are best.
Environmental Defence (DeMarco)
Is nature a resource?
Yes: humans need to make optimal use of nature for current and future generations. Resourcism.
No: nature needs to be protected for its own sake.
Should environmental ethics come from the heart or the mind?
Leopold: "A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community."
Treat nature as a whole, not just a bunch of parts to be exploited.
Holism vs. reductionism vs. multilevelism.
Deep Ecology (Naess)
- Relational total-field image of nature, not human-in-environment.
- Ecological egalitarianism.
- Diversity & symbiosis.
- Fight against pollution and resource depletion.
- Local autonomy and decentralization.
Ethical Guidelines for Parks (Stefanovic)
Ethical dilemma: reconcile ecocentric and anthropocentric views.
Should provincial and national parks be preserved for their own sake or for future generations? Does it matter?
Does having a code of ethics help or hinder environmental protection?
Private Market Conservation Strategies (Greenbaum)
Government tools for conserving natural heritage
- Acquire lands
- Regulate private landowners
- Use tax measures to provide incentives
Ethical advantages of market-based approaches
- Economic efficiency.
Dangers of market-based approaches
- Side-effects: externalities.
- Inequalities: assymetries of power.
- Tragedy of the commons: Everyone is worse off.
- Freedom from control by others vs. freedom to do things.
- Nature is unpriceable.
Review Questions for Week 5 (updated Oct. 21)
- What are 4 reasons why deMarco is opposed to anthropocentrism?
- How does deep ecology differ from resourcism? Explain both, describing at least 4 features of deep ecology.
- According to Stefanovic, what are 3 advantages and 2 disadvantages of having codes of ethics for parks?
- What does Greenbaum think are 3 major disadvantages of market-based approaches to conservation? Explain each.
- Essay: Taking both consequences and rights into account, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of governmental and non-governmental approaches to conserving nature. Your essay should include:
- statement of at least two alternatives
- consequences pro and con, and evaluation
- rights and duties, pro and con, and evaluation
- overall evaluation.
This page updated Oct. 21, 2011