History of the Origins of Environmental Ethics Essay

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History of the Origins of Environmental Ethics

The inspiration for environmental ethics was the first Earth Day in 1970 when environmentalists started urging philosophers who were involved with environmental groups to do something about environmental ethics. An intellectual climate had developed in the last few years of the 1960s in large part because of the publication of two papers in Science: Lynn White's "The Historical Roots of our Ecologic Crisis" (March 1967) and Garett Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons" (December 1968). Most influential with regard to this kind of thinking, however, was an essay in Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, "The Land Ethic," in which Leopold explicitly claimed that the roots of the ecological
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Most debate among philosophers until the mid-1980s was focused on refuting Passmore. In 1975 environmental ethics came to the attention of mainstream philosophy with the publication of Holmes Rolston, III's paper, "Is There an Ecological Ethic?" in Ethics.

Arne Naess, a Norwegian philosopher and the founding editor of the journal Inquiry authored and published a paper in Inquiry "The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement" in 1973, which was the beginning of the deep ecology movement. Important writers in this movement include George Sessions, Bill DeVall, Warwick Fox, and, in some respects, Max Oelschlaeger.

Throughout the 1970s Inquiry was the primary philosophy journal that dealt with enviornmental ethics. Environmental ethics was, for the most part, considered a curiousity and mainstream philosophy journals rarely published more than one article per year, if that. Opportunities for publishing dramatically improved in 1979 when Eugene C. Hargrove founded the journal Environmental Ethics. The name of the journal became the name of the field.

The first five years of the journal was spent mostly arguing about rights for nature and the relationship of
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