Repository logo

Environmental Ethics: Anthologies and Journal Articles

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 243
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dialogue between Confucianism and Holmes Rolston, III—its significance for theology in the planetary climate crisis
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Zhang, Haoran, author; MDPI, publisher
    Holmes Rolston, III examined the significance of Asian thought for Western evaluations of nature and questioned whether Asian Romanticism can inform the realistic decision making required for practice. However, Rolston ignored Confucianism. Confucianism is grounded on an "anthropocosmic" worldview and bases its environmental ethics on the "virtue of life and growth" and the related vision of "unity of heaven and human beings"; it is thus an objective environmental virtue ethics. Confucianism should adopt Rolston's recommendation for Asian thought concerning the incorporation of evolutionary biology. Rolston is vital to the dialogue for theology in the planetary climate crisis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Disenchanting the rhetoric: human uniqueness and human responsibility
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2006) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    The trial before the Congress of all Beings is David Orr's heuristic device, used effectively to stimulate thought. How would the myriad other creatures judge human behavior? What would the butterflies and ants think? This is, of course fanciful metaphor. Neither butterflies nor ants have brain enough to engage in such concerns. Humans alone on Earth can take a transcending overview of the whole. Humans alone can know they are on a planet. Humans alone have escalated their powers to the point of placing the welfare of the planet in jeopardy. Humans are standouts on Earth. That does give us prominence of place, both of privilege and of responsibility. Only one species has ever wondered about its place in the world, because only one evolved the ability to do so.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Scientific and ethical considerations in rare species protection: the case of beavers in Connecticut
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Dirrigl, Frank J., Jr., author; Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Wilson, Joshua H., author; Indiana University Press, publisher
    The protection of rare species abounds with scientific and ethical considerations. An ethical dilemma can emerge when the life of one species is valued higher than that of another, and so we discuss the basis of ranking, protection, and valuation of plants and animals. A duty to protect rare species exists in this age of great losses to plant and animal life, but the scientific and public communities are not always in agreement regarding what species deserve protection. Using a case study, we illustrate how the decision to kill beavers to protect a rare plant and rare animals found in a tidewater creek demanded an ecological ethic approach. We present the concept of a "conservation mediator" and how its use may help find a common ground between stakeholders and decision-makers in similar situations.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Foreword in "Connection to nature, deep ecology, and conservation social science: human-nature bonding and protecting the natural world"
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020-12-15) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Lexington Books, publisher
    "Connectedness with nature presents itself as a radical but necessary prerequisite for realizing desired conservation and environmental behavior outcomes." "But," I find myself wanting to reply. Humans are disconnected with nature through the kinds of connections they have. No other species has power to jeopardize the planet. Challenged by Diehm I twist and turn, torn between the natural world I seek to enjoy and the classic self-defeating character of self-interest. The wild fauna and flora have a good of their own: they are located in a good place, appreciating them is my flourishing. That is a win-win situation. Oppositely, losing them is losing the quality of life that comes based on them, as well as their being lost in their own right; that is a lose-lose situation. Some things have to be won together.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Biological conservation of microbes
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 1989-09-11) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, speaker
    A talk by Holmes Rolston, III in the CSU Department of Microbiology on September 11, 1989. Environmental ethics is typically concerned with big stuff, bears, wolves, plants, wildfires, or insects. The Endangered Species act protects these, but does not mention microbes. There are concerns about microbes, in diseases, such as polio, or for patents, or fermenting. There are agricultural, industrial, medical uses. The usual list of reasons for preserving species are that they have aesthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, or scientific value. Microbes can have ecological, historical, and scientific value. Often we do not know how much, at least not yet. Microbes in rare places, such as in the hot springs of Yellowstone, may bring clues about the origin of life. Respect for life includes microbes. For perhaps two-thirds of the history of Earth, all life was one-celled.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ética ambiental: valores y deberes en el mundo natural
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 1998) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    Environmental ethics stretches classical ethics to a breaking point. One needs more than a humanist ethic applied to the environment, analogously to applied ethics in other areas. Environmental ethics stands on a frontier, as radically theoretical as it is applied. Alone, it asks whether there can be nonhuman objects of duty. Animals, plants, endangered species, ecosystems, and even Earth are progressively unfamiliar as objects of duty, and puzzles arise both for theory and practice. Answers to such questions are as urgent as any humans face, and intimately related to the four principal issues on the world agenda: peace, population, development, and environment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2001) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    Whether humans have duties to endangered species is a significant theoretical and an urgent practical question. Initially, the focus was on endangered species, which are still central, but in recent years attention has widened to other levels of biodiversity, such as types of ecosystems at a regional level, or genetic diversity at the microbiological level. The rationale for saving species may be anthropocentric, and/or naturalistic, sometimes said to be biocentric. One rationale is that nature is a kind of wonderland.
  • ItemOpen Access
    We humans are the worst and the best and …
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022-03) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Wiley Periodicals LLC, publisher
    We humans have extended culture amplifying our powers. Our genotypes are differentially expressed in phenotypes, increasing our preferring us over them, escalating our worst and best. Our groups are more ruthless than individuals. Our brain/minds are hyperimmense, neuroplastic in advancing our powers in collective technology. We fear reaching a tipping point, a point of no return, pending doom for humans and jeopardizing the planet forever. We humans are the best and the worst and … we have blundered into doubly compounded wickedness. We struggle to gain truth, and live with our biases, religious and secular. We are capable of the highest good, exemplified in individuals in their spiritual communities. We can also fall into enormous evil, made worse by our community allegiances. We are well into the greatest experiment ever, an Anthropocene Epoch in which the dangerous outcome cannot be undone, nor the experiment repeated.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rolston introduction, interview, and paper: from the Shandong University, China, Conference on Ecological Aesthetics and Ethics in the Post Epidemic Era
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021-08-28-2021-08-29) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Jinhua, Ke, author; China Academic Journal Electronic Publishing House, publisher
    Includes: Introduction to Holmes Rolston (in Chinese), Interview with Rolston (in Chinese and English), and Paper by Rolston (in Chinese and English), from the Shandong University Conference on Ecological Aesthetics and Ethics in the Post Epidemic Era on August 28-29, 2021, in the Journal of Poyang Lake in Jiangxi Academy of Social Sciences.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Animal welfare and environmental ethics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    Bernard Rollin's main concerns are domestic and research animals. Tens of thousands of such animals have endured less suffering as a result of Rollin's seminal work. Animals are of moral concern because they have conscious interests, or telos. Rollin's use of telos is plausible though more specialized than usual. He develops an account of animal rights and has been influential in shaping legislation and regulations. Rollin has theoretical or in-principle ideals that are unlikely to be accepted as current practice. In result he adopts more moderate moral principles. In the fair-contract, husbandry dimension of agriculture, the farmer takes care of the cows and pigs, recognizing their rights, and then eats them, or sells them to be eaten. Environmental ethicists add that there are considerations in a more complex ethic, predation for example, that cannot be reached by conferring rights on them. Rollin has effectively analyzed the bioscience that confirms animal minds. He reaches a strange combination of kinship and chasm separating human and animal minds. Rollin's account of any deeper environmental ethics for a biospheric Earth is unsatisfactory, any respect for life beyond respect for sentience, especially his concepts of endangered species.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Environmental bioethics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 1995) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Oxford University Press, publisher
    Environmental bioethics, or environmental ethics, is the theory and practice concerning values in and duties to, or concerning, the natural world. An anthropocentric ethic holds that humans are the focus of ethics and nature is instrumental to their concerns. A naturalistic ethic is more radical, and holds that animals, plants, ecosystems, and even Earth as a whole ought to be the direct objects of moral concern, at times at least. If so, environmental bioethics differs from bioethics more generally, which has previously been largely medical, with human health and welfare its concern. A comprehensive environmental bioethics locates humans in both human and biotic communities, with values and duties at multiple levels and scales. These ethics may join, however, as all humans see themselves as Earthlings, with their home planet as a responsibility.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Endangered species and biodiversity (Encyclopedia of Bioethics)
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 1995) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Simon and Schuster, publisher
    Reliable estimates are that about 20 percent of Earth's species may be lost within a few decades, about evenly distributed through major groups of plants and animals. The United Nations at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro launched the Convention on Biological Diversity. The U.S. Congress has sought to protect species through the Endangered Species Act. Almost all inhabited lands are impoverished of their native fauna and flora. On an anthropocentric account, the duties involved are to persons; there are no duties to endangered species, though duties may concern species. There is something morally naive, about living in a reference frame where one species values everything else relative to its utility. Biodiversity is the common heritage of humankind, all nations share duties to protect it.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Wildlife conservation and management (Encyclopedia of Bioethics)
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 1995) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Simon and Schuster, publisher
    Human activities affect wildlife quite adversely, and humans have duties to care for them, both because of what humans have at stake and also because of what wildlife are in themselves. The main ethical issues in wildlife management (1) the contemporary crisis of conserving historically evolved wildlife populations on rapidly developing human landscapes (2) ownership, control, management, and stewardship responsibilities for wildlife, (3) conservation of endangered wildlife species, (4) fishes and fisheries as managed wildlife populations, (5) wildlife as game for hunting and trapping, including hunting as a conservation strategy, (6) "hands-on" versus "hands-off" management, and (7) feral animals. These are issues of management objectives, but there are ethical questions at every point.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Biology without conservation: an environmental misfit and contradiction in terms
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 1989) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Oxford University Press, publisher
    Every biological organism is per se a conservationist, defending its life. Nonconservation is death. Although not moral agents, organisms are normative systems that value life intrinsically, for what each individual life is in itself, without further contributory reference beyond conserving that kind. An ecosystem is thus a systemic web of intrinsic values defended and instrumental values captured. Humans can and ought to use their environment resourcefully, conserving their own kind of life. But, as the sole moral agents among Earth's millions of species, humans ought also to conserve Earth's biological processes of value, processes that precede and exceed the human presence. Conservation goals, although cultural attitudes, ought not to be merely cultural attitudes, but ought to conserve nonanthropocentric biological values present. Biology without conservation is a contradiction in terms, as well as misfit in its environment.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ecological aesthetics and ethics in the post epidemic era
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021-08) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, speaker; Bend, Ron, videographer
    The largest and most threatening pandemic in human history has humbled arrogant humans, locked us up. The virus in a couple months has stymied human achievements, aspirations, and freedoms. The upsetting surprise is that this tiny bit of nothing, not even alive, that you can't see even with a microscope, is upsetting our local and our global ecologies. We wonder why and how viruses can have their place in a wonderland biosphere. One big worry is that, developing a vaccine, we will miss this opportunity for more caring, love, and solidarity in our human communities, for pandemic justice. Biological nature is always giving birth, always in travail. Death is a necessary counterpart to the advancing of life. The music of life is in a minor key. The global Earth is a land of promise, and yet one that has to be died for. Earthen natural history might be called the evolution of suffering, or, equally, the evolution of caring. Life is perpetually perishing, yet perpetually regenerated, redeemed. In the post pandemic normal, it is impossible to go back to where we were. We must embrace nature and culture on Earth as it is and as it is becoming.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Environmental ethics and religion/science
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Oxford University Press, publisher
    What to make of who we are, where we are, what we ought to do? These perennial questions are familiar enough; what is recently extraordinary is how the science-religion dialogue re-frames these old questions with an on Earth dimension. What to make of Earth, the home planet? Earth is proving to be a remarkable planet and humans have deep roots in and entwined destinies with this wonderland Earth. Simultaneously, however, humans are remarkable on this remarkable planet, a wonder on wonderland Earth. The foreboding challenge is that these spectacular humans, the sole moral agents on Earth, now jeopardize both themselves and their planet. Science and religion are equally needed, and strained, to bring salvation (to use a religious term), to keep life on Earth sustainable (to use a more secular, scientific term).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Wonderland Earth in the Anthropocene Epoch
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author; Routledge, publisher
    1. Wonderland planet. In the cosmos, remarkable features produce billions of stars generating elements suitable for life. Life is so far known only on Earth. Humans result from a cosmic "anthropic" principle. 2. Humans - the wonder of wonders. The human mind is by far the most complex thing known, capable of semantic and symbolic speech, elaborating high orders of rational and emotional thought in science, philosophy, ethics, art, and religious faith. 3. Wondering about Anthropocene Humans? Humans have gained vast powers for transforming their planet. Human dominance is so extensive that Earth has apparently entered the Anthropocene Epoch. 4. Managed Planet and End of Nature? Enthusiasts advocate that human ought to engineer Earth resourcefully, increasing their dominion, bringing about the end of nature. The Anthropocene is "humanity's defining moment." 5. Anthropocene Arrogance. Critics wonder. Ought not this sole moral species do something less self-interested than value Earth's wonders only for the benefits they bring? 6. Wonderful Humans Incarnate on Wonderland Earth. A better hope is for a tapestry of cultural and natural values, not a trajectory even further into the Anthropocene. Cherish wonderful humans incarnate on wonderland Earth.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Values, environmental (International Encyclopedia of Anthropology)
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2019) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    Environmental values are of various kinds, including intrinsic, inherent, systemic, Anthropocene, ecosystem, and spiritual.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    You are today out of place, as far as the East is from the West. Although having visited China a half dozen times, I found myself out of place, too much a Westerner to be competent to give an intelligent contribution to Chinese environmental aesthetics. But I felt I could ask you some probing questions. Can Chinese landscapes be seen as works of art in terms of art and nature? Are Chinese three dimensional persons in terms of urban, rural and wild? Is China like no place else on earth in terms of residence in place? What on Chinese landscapes is ugly? How to comment on such slogans as "beautiful China", "eco-systemic China"? How to understand the environmental aesthetics and the environmental policy in China? After giving my answers to the questions, I conclude that Chinese are skilled by their long heritage at seeking harmony, at getting the whole picture and fitting parts into a more beautiful whole. I hope that would be the future of Chinese environmental aesthetics. Then, and only then, will Chinese flourish, and can Westerners learn from our dialogue with the East.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Critical notice of published articles in environmental ethics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Rolston, Holmes, 1932-, author
    Critical notice of citations of Rolston's published articles in environmental ethics.