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Toward a Systemic Ethic: In search of an Ethical Basis for Sustainability and Precaution

Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted and Kristensen, Erik Steen (2003) Toward a Systemic Ethic: In search of an Ethical Basis for Sustainability and Precaution. Environmental Ethics, 25 (1), pp. 59-78.

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Summary

Environmental issues and questions of sustainability and precaution have come into focus in agriculture, and in society in general, in recent decades. There are, however, many different meanings of sustainability and precaution, and there is no evident connection between these new normative concepts and the traditional moral theories. This paper seeks an ethical basis for sustainability and precaution – a common framework that can serve as a means of resolving the conceptual ambiguities of the new normative concepts and as a means of resolving conflicts between new and traditional moral concepts and theories. The method employed is to analyse the past and possible future extension of ethics and establish an inclusive framework of ethical extension. The extension of ethics is driven by the increased awareness of several, not unrelated aspects, such as the similarities between man and other living beings and their common ecological relations, the increasing human influence on natural systems and processes, and the limits of human knowledge and control. In accordance, the analysis is characterised by a systemic approach, and the established framework forms the basis for what we call a systemic ethic.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:ethics; precautionary principle; sustainability; responsibility; environmental ethics; land ethic; systemic; extension; considerability; intrinsic value; agriculture
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods > Indicators and other value-laden measures
Values, standards and certification
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > V.1 (SYNERGY) Coordination and synergy
Deposited By: Alrøe, Ph.D. Hugo Fjelsted
ID Code:552
Deposited On:12 Mar 2003
Last Modified:04 Jun 2013 09:32
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:The "Preprint" is a somewhat longer version that has, for instance, a helpful table on "Different senses of intrinsic value compared with a relational theory of values".

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