Discuss Environmental Ethics Analysis

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Leo Strauss analyzes modernity as a culture in which “absolute and fundamental moral actions are not duties but rights” (Strauss, 1954). The establishment of a-religious ethical foundations of our social order deconstructed its sacred dimension: from the religious empathetic glorification of immemorial rigorist moral obligation succeeds the modern hyperbolic religion of “you must” (Lipovetsky, 1992). This post-moralist period – in which the individualistic, psychological referential dominates – coincides with a novel environmental ethics. The frequent ecological catastrophes due to petrochemical or nuclear industries and the issue of pollution and its impact of the atmosphere has said to have led to a general awareness on the negative externalities…show more content…
“With great power comes great responsibility”: as humans have been shown to have the mean to put in danger future life on this planet, their human responsibility must now encompass extra-human dimensions, like the biosphere as a whole. As Lipovetsky stated: “the postmodern citizenship is less political than it is ecological, we have no more faith in moral and civic education, […] but we aspire more and more to a green citizenship” (Lipovetsky, 1992). Following historical stepping-stones in civil and social rights and liberties now arises the right to a specific “quality of life” (right to a natural, untouched environment, to an unpolluted atmosphere, to pure…show more content…
If everybody adopts this most profitable strategy, the “commons” will collapse” (Hardin, 1968). Consequently, research on public goods seem to have the underlying ambition to address the fundamental question of our “true nature” – selfish or altruistic. This led to the concept of creativity in social groups, a notion established on “the existence of a shared ability (or absence, as in Hardin, 1968), beyond mere self-interest, to create viable and sustainable social environments” (Mouchiroud & Zenasni, 2013). Indeed, in a Maussian framework, there exists a pivotal “primacy of altruism over selfishness [as] cooperation cannot stem from selfishness […], yet selfishness can stem from (dysfunctional) cooperation” (Mouchiroud & Zenasni, 2013), as it has been shown in multiple experiments like public good or bargaining games, prisoner’s dilemmas or field studies (Fehr & Fischbacher, 2003; Alpizar & Gsottbeauer, 2015; Andreano & Miller, 2002). Economic trades and particularly gift exchanges are thus not only done for economic profit but are also “vehicules and instruments for realities of another order: influence, power, sympathy, status, emotion” (Lévi-Strauss, 1996). This multifaceted “total social phenomenon” (Mauss, 2011/ original 1923) is consequently said to reflect “a multipurpose symbolic ‘utility’ that
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