Virtue Ethics and Repugnant Conclusions
University of San Diego
ENVIRONMENTAL VIRTUE ETHICS, Philip Cafaro and Ronald Sandler, eds., Rowman and Littlefield, 2004
Both utilitarian and deontological moral theories locate the source of our moral beliefs in the wrong sorts of considerations. One way this failure manifests itself, we argue, is in the ways these theories analyze the proper human relationship toward the non-human environment. Another, more notorious, manifestation of this failure is found in Derek Parfit's Repugnant Conclusion. Our goal is to explore the connection between these two failures, and to suggest that they are failures of act-centered moral theories in general. As such, they cannot be fixed by simply developing a better version of such a theory. Virtue-based theories, we suggest, provide a more promising alternative.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Environmental Ethics, Environmentalism, Thomas Hill, Derek Parfit, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Repugnant Conclusion, Virtue Ethics, Virtue Theory
Date posted: January 6, 2008