Ideals of Human Excellence and Preserving Natural Environments

Environmental Ethics 5 (3):211-224 (1983)
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Abstract

The moral significance of preserving natural environments is not entirely an issue of rights and social utility, for a person’s attitude toward nature may be importantly connected with virtues or human excellences. The question is, “What sort of person would destroy the natural environment--or even see its value solely in cost/benefit terms?” The answer I suggest is that willingness to do so may well reveal the absence of traits which are a natural basis for a proper humility, self-acceptance, gratitude, and appreciation of the good in others.

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