Narrative, imagination, and the search for intelligibility in environmental ethics

Ethics and the Environment 4 (1):23-38 (1999)
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This essay presents a contextualist defense of the role of narrative and metaphor in the articulation of environmental ethical theories. Both the intelligibility and persuasiveness of ecocentric concepts and arguments presuppose that proponents of these ideas can connect with the narratives and metaphors guiding the expectations and interpretations of their audiences. Too often objectivist presuppositions prevent the full contextualization of environmental ethical arguments. The result is a disembodied environmental discourse with diminished influence on citizens and policy makers. This essay is a pragmatist call for more philosophical attention to locating speakers, audiences, and meanings in more intelligible "discursive spaces." © 1999 Elsevier Science Inc



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Robert King
State University of New York (SUNY)

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