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Environmental Philosophy, Ethics, and Science

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Environmental Philosophy, Ethics, and Science Outline Introduction Ethical Principles Religious and Cultural Perspectives Environmental Justice Science as a Way of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Environmental Philosophy, Ethics, and Science


1
Environmental Philosophy, Ethics, and Science
2
Outline
  • Introduction
  • Ethical Principles
  • Religious and Cultural Perspectives
  • Environmental Justice
  • Science as a Way of Knowing
  • Scientific Design
  • Modeling and Natural Experiments
  • Paradigms and Scientific Consensus

3
INTRODUCTION
  • Ethics is a branch of philosophy
  • Morals Distinction between right and wrong.
  • Values Ultimate worth of actions or things.
  • Environmental ethics deals with the moral
    relationships between humans and the surrounding
    world.

4
Ethical Principles
  • Universalists - Assert fundamental principles of
    ethics are universal, unchanging, and eternal.
  • Plato
  • Relativists - Claim moral principles are always
    relative to a particular person, society, or
    situation.
  • Nietzsche

5
Ethical Principles
  • Nihilists - Claim morality is arbitrary thus
    there is no reason to behave morally.
  • Schopenhauer
  • Utilitarians - Believe an action is right that
    produces the greatest good for the greatest
    number of people.
  • Bentham and Mill

6
Values, Rights, and Obligations
  • Moral Agents - Beings capable of acting morally
    or immorally, and who can accept responsibility
    for their acts.
  • Humans
  • Moral Subjects - Beings who are not moral agents,
    but who have moral interests and can be treated
    rightly or wrongly.
  • Children
  • Moral Extensionism - Widening definition of who
    is considered ethically significant.
  • Animal Rights

7
Intrinsic and Instrumental Value
  • Intrinsic (Inherent - Innate) - Worth or value
    simply because of existence.
  • Humans
  • Instrumental (Conferred) - Worth or value only
    because they are valued by someone who matters.
  • Tools

8
Religious and Cultural Perspectives
  • Biocentricism - All living things have intrinsic
    value.
  • Anthropocentric - Human-centered.
  • Genesis 128
  • Stewardship - Custodian of resources.
  • Indigenous peoples

9
Ecofeminism
  • Ecofeminists argue most philosophers came from a
    patriarchal system based on domination and
    duality.
  • Contend domination, exploitation, and
    mistreatment of women, children, minorities, and
    nature are intimately connected and mutually
    reinforcing.

10
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
  • Environmental Justice combines civil rights and
    environmental protection to demand a safe,
    healthy environment for all people.
  • People of color around the world are subjected to
    a disproportionately high level of environmental
    health risks.

11
Environmental Justice
  • Toxic Colonialism - Targeting poor communities of
    color in poor areas / countries for waste
    disposal and / or experimentation.
  • Native American Reservations
  • Moving operations to countries where
    environmental regulations are lax.

12
SCIENCE AS A WAY OF KNOWING
  • Science - Depends on making precise observations
    of natural phenomena and on formulating rational
    theories to make sense of those observations.
  • Assumes the world is knowable, and that
    systematic investigations can yield meaningful
    insights.

13
Science
  • Deductive Reasoning - Starts with a general
    principle and proceeds to a specific case.
  • Inductive Reasoning - General principles are
    inferred from examination of specific cases.

14
Scientific Design
  • Reproducibility is a key test of any data set.
  • Controlled Studies - All variables controlled
    except for one.
  • Blind Experiment
  • Researchers, (or researchers and participants in
    a double-blind) do not know who is receiving the
    experimental or control treatments until after
    the experiment is completed.

15
Hypothesis and Theories
  • Hypothesis - A provisional explanation that can
    be falsified by further investigation.
  • When tests support hypothesis, it is only
    considered provisionally true.
  • Scientific Theory - Hypothesis supported by
    multiple experiments and a majority of experts.
  • Not casual everyday theory.

16
Modeling and Natural Experiments
  • Natural Experiments - Ideas and explanations
    tested indirectly by looking at historical
    evidence or natural experiments.
  • Models - Use of a substitute organism, a
    physical mock-up, or a set of mathematical
    equations that simulates a real system.

17
Statistics and Probability
  • Quantitative data can be precise, easily
    compared, and provide good benchmarks to measure
    change.
  • Statistical analysis can be used to calculate a
    margin of error and confidence levels.
  • Probability is a measure and prediction of the
    likelihood of an event.

18
Scientific Investigation
19
Intuition and Inspiration
  • Human factors such as creativity, insight,
    aesthetics, and luck play definite roles in
    scientific research.

20
Paradigms
  • Most research is based on commonly shared
    paradigms - models that provide a framework for
    interpreting results.
  • Eventually, anomalies and contradictions of
    paradigms arise and build.
  • Typically new generations of scholars challenge
    old paradigms and formulate new hypotheses and
    theories leading to new paradigms.

21
Pseudoscience
  • A common tactic in combating scientific evidence
    is to use scientific uncertainty as a an excuse
    to postpone or reverse an action supported by the
    current scientific evidence.

22
Summary
  • Introduction
  • Ethical Principles
  • Religious and Cultural Perspectives
  • Environmental Justice
  • Science as a Way of Knowing
  • Scientific Design
  • Modeling and Natural Experiments
  • Paradigms and Scientific Consensus

23
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