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date: 19 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

For years, many people have believedthat the only reasonable way to approach a problem of environmental concern is to evaluate the eventuating state of affairs. Since environmental matters are primarily about states of affairs, these ‘consequentialist’ approaches appear to make sense. More recently, however, others have looked to different branches of philosophy for guidance. These non- or anti-consequentialist theorists typically fall into two camps: act-oriented camps and character-oriented camps. This chapter aims to defend nonconsequentialist act-oriented ethics, and in particular, a deontological justificatory liberalism, as at least one plausible route forward for environmental ethics. It does so by suggesting that more traditional consequentialist approaches to environmental problems are subject to potentially devastating criticisms that can more adequately be handled by some deontological approaches.

Keywords: nonconsequentialism, anticonsequentialism, deontology, trespass, responsibility, rights, rules, respect

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