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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Conservation Ethics: An Obligation-Centered Approach, Alexander Philip Lee Jan 2016

Conservation Ethics: An Obligation-Centered Approach, Alexander Philip Lee

Environmental Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Environmental ethics has generally taken up nature conservation as an issue of environmental value: we ought to protect nature to protect value in nature. This value-centered conservation ethic raises three categories of problems: theoretical challenges over the commensurability and substitutability of environmental value; discursive hurdles with how we talk about conservation; and practical problems with how conservationists put philosophical tools into actions. I investigate these problems in concert to show how obligations provide a plausible alternative account of why and how we ought to protect the natural world. This dissertation argues first that a value-centered approach has overwhelmingly been used ...


Pollution In Light Of Entropy, James L. Tao Jan 2016

Pollution In Light Of Entropy, James L. Tao

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis explores a new approach to understanding contemporary environmental issues. This approach draws on concepts in thermodynamics such as entropy, free energy, and gradient dissipation, and applies them to non-equilibrium settings to provide an alternative view of chemical pollution in the context of ecosystems and human societies. Building on the works of Boltzmann, Gibbs, Schrödinger, E.P. Odum, Prigogine, Georgescu-Roegen, and Kay, this thesis demonstrates the necessity of pollution as a consequence of large scale energy use. First a historical background of thermodynamics and entropy is provided following the description of an “entropy framework” used to analyze various pollution ...


Aid Strings Attached—Disaster Burden Relieved: An Ethical Analysis Of Conditionally Providing Foreign Natural Disaster Aid In Order To Increase Climate Change Resilience, John Cortner Jan 2016

Aid Strings Attached—Disaster Burden Relieved: An Ethical Analysis Of Conditionally Providing Foreign Natural Disaster Aid In Order To Increase Climate Change Resilience, John Cortner

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper, I explore the ethical intricacies involved in the United States providing foreign disaster aid with the condition that a portion be used to build resilience to climate change. Objections to providing conditional aid and the ability to implement it are addressed. Responses to these objections form an argument in support of conditional aid and its benefits to the global community through cooperative resilience building. Finally, I recommend conditional aid as a tool for building strong and independent countries in a changing climate.


The Ethics Of Environmentalism For The Individual Consumer, Molly Collins Jan 2016

The Ethics Of Environmentalism For The Individual Consumer, Molly Collins

Honors Theses

Climate change harms the well-being of humans. It is the poor choices of individual consumers that contribute to climate change. I argue that it is immoral to cause harm to others, thus climate change is an ethical dilemma for individual consumers. I begin with a pluralistic discussion of harm, before discussing the duties of individuals to make choices that will mitigate the current harms of climate change and the wrong moral assumptions that individuals make regarding their contribution to climate change. I discuss the principles of ethical consumerism, specifically in housing, food, and transportation. Lastly, I argue that climate change ...