Beyond Intrinsic Value: Undermining the Justification of Ecoterrorism
Charles S. Brown
Emporia State University - Department of Philosophy
American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 66, No. 1, pp. 113-125, January 2007
Both Aldo Leopold's "land ethic" and Arne Naess's "deep ecology" have been criticized as providing intellectual justifications for both a misanthropic ecofascism and a policy of ecoterrorism for environmental activists. This chapter argues that each of these two approaches to providing a ground or framework for an environmental ethics is subject to the charges of ecofascism or ecoterrorism only to the extent that each is committed to the notion of "intrinsic value" as a nonnegotiable moral absolute or, as Kant puts it, "a value beyond all price." This chapter begins by describing shared value experience between humans and animals and then points the way to an alternative and pragmatic concept of value that can better guide environmental thinking on matters of law, policy, and activism. This concept of value emerges from an experiential and epistemic understanding of the inherent rationality of value experience. A description of value experience reveals that the lived significance of value experience exhibits a meaningful and referential structure in which anticipations of future experience are either satisfied or frustrated in future experience. This meaningful structure of value experience, in which value experiences point to their own confirmation or disconfirmation, constitutes a self-correcting tendency or a prima facie rationality inherent in value experience. The result is a pragmatic conception of value that takes all value intuition and attribution to be intrinsically revisable in light of future experience. As such, value experience is always subject to negotiation, dialogue, and the weight of future experience. This conception of value undercuts the intellectual, psychological, and moral justification for ecofascism or ecoterrorism.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 8, 2007
© 2013 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.703 seconds