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Lisa Paddock holds a Ph. She has written scholarly articles on literature for Mississippi Quarterly, Massachusetts Study in English, and other journals. Matthew J.

He is the principal in-house editor for the documentary series of the Dictionary of Literary Biography. Judith S. Baughman is the author of Literary Masters: F. Carl Rollyson holds a Ph. He is a professor of English at Baruch College and has written numerous biographies and articles on 20th-century writers, including William Faulkner, Lillian Hellman, Norman Mailer, and Martha Gellhorn.

Marshall Boswell received his M. Louis and his Ph.

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Encyclopedia of Revolutionary America, 3-Volume Set. In the commentary to the study, the researchers wrote:. The new field emerged almost simultaneously in three countries—the United States, Australia, and Norway. In the first two of these countries, direction and inspiration largely came from the earlier twentieth century American literature of the environment.

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. Leopold —5. However, Leopold himself provided no systematic ethical theory or framework to support these ethical ideas concerning the environment. His views therefore presented a challenge and opportunity for moral theorists: could some ethical theory be devised to justify the injunction to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biosphere?

The land ethic sketched by Leopold, attempting to extend our moral concern to cover the natural environment and its non-human contents, was drawn on explicitly by the Australian philosopher Richard Routley later Sylvan. According to Routley cf. From the human-chauvinistic or absolutely anthropocentric perspective, the last person would do nothing morally wrong, since his or her destructive act in question would not cause any damage to the interest and well-being of humans, who would by then have disappeared.

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Nevertheless, Routley points out that there is a moral intuition that the imagined last acts would be morally wrong. An explanation for this judgment, he argued, is that those non-human objects in the environment, whose destruction is ensured by the last person or last people, have intrinsic value, a kind of value independent of their usefulness for humans. From his critique, Routley concluded that the main approaches in traditional western moral thinking were unable to allow the recognition that natural things have intrinsic value, and that the tradition required overhaul of a significant kind.

The U. It would be wrong, he maintained, to eliminate a rare butterfly species simply to increase the monetary value of specimens already held by collectors. Species, Rolston went on to argue, are intrinsically valuable and are usually more valuable than individual specimens, since the loss of a species is a loss of genetic possibilities and the deliberate destruction of a species would show disrespect for the very biological processes which make possible the emergence of individual living things also see Rolston , Ch Meanwhile, the work of Christopher Stone a professor of law at the University of Southern California had become widely discussed.

Stone proposed that trees and other natural objects should have at least the same standing in law as corporations. This suggestion was inspired by a particular case in which the Sierra Club had mounted a challenge against the permit granted by the U.

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Forest Service to Walt Disney Enterprises for surveys preparatory to the development of the Mineral King Valley, which was at the time a relatively remote game refuge, but not designated as a national park or protected wilderness area. The Disney proposal was to develop a major resort complex serving visitors daily to be accessed by a purpose-built highway through Sequoia National Park.

The Sierra Club, as a body with a general concern for wilderness conservation, challenged the development on the grounds that the valley should be kept in its original state for its own sake. Stone reasoned that if trees, forests and mountains could be given standing in law then they could be represented in their own right in the courts by groups such as the Sierra Club. Moreover, like any other legal person , these natural things could become beneficiaries of compensation if it could be shown that they had suffered compensatable injury through human activity.

When the case went to the U. Supreme Court, it was determined by a narrow majority that the Sierra Club did not meet the condition for bringing a case to court, for the Club was unable and unwilling to prove the likelihood of injury to the interest of the Club or its members. Only items that have interests, Feinberg argued, can be regarded as having legal standing and, likewise, moral standing. For it is interests which are capable of being represented in legal proceedings and moral debates. This same point would also seem to apply to political debates.

Granted that some animals have interests that can be represented in this way, would it also make sense to speak of trees, forests, rivers, barnacles, or termites as having interests of a morally relevant kind? This issue was hotly contested in the years that followed. Skeptical of the prospects for any radically new ethic, Passmore cautioned that traditions of thought could not be abruptly overhauled.

Any change in attitudes to our natural surroundings which stood the chance of widespread acceptance, he argued, would have to resonate and have some continuities with the very tradition which had legitimized our destructive practices. The confluence of ethical, political and legal debates about the environment, the emergence of philosophies to underpin animal rights activism and the puzzles over whether an environmental ethic would be something new rather than a modification or extension of existing ethical theories were reflected in wider social and political movements.

It is not clear, however, that collectivist or communist countries do any better in terms of their environmental record see Dominick All three shared a passion for the great mountains. The deep ecologist respects this intrinsic value, taking care, for example, when walking on the mountainside not to cause unnecessary damage to the plants. To make such a separation not only leads to selfishness towards other people, but also induces human selfishness towards nature. The identity of a living thing is essentially constituted by its relations to other things in the world, especially its ecological relations to other living things.

If people conceptualise themselves and the world in relational terms, the deep ecologists argue, then people will take better care of nature and the world in general.