On the Ethical and Democratic Deficits of Environmental Pragmatism

Journal of Human Values 22 (2):107-114 (2016)
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Nothing is more urgent today than climate change. As a global issue, climate justice requires the recognition by rich countries of the adverse impact of climate change, especially in the Third World. Environmental pragmatism is an ethical paradigm that offers immediate, solid and action-oriented approach to environmental problems. From a practical end, the issue seems to demand that the theoretical debates on policy should now be resolved to hold governments and people accountable in order to address the problem. Is this the right thing to do? I argue that the pragmatic position on the matter is problematic. Environmental pragmatism suffers from ethical and democratic deficits. For instance, pragmatic solutions will not work in the Third World societies because of weak institutions and hegemonic power relations between the national leadership and the people. In this regard, one has to appeal to participatory democracy in the choice of ethical paradigms. In the end, climate justice requires clear philosopher and democratic grounding, one that environmental pragmatism neglects.



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Christopher Ryan Maboloc
Ateneo de Davao University

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Global Ethics and the Environment.Nicholas Low - 2001 - Environmental Values 10 (2):266-268.

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