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date: 20 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Environmental virtue ethics is among the most fruitful and influential applications of virtue ethics. This chapter considers the attractions of a virtue-based approach to environmental ethics in particular, before examining how we come to identify environmental virtues and vices. Following consideration of representative environmental virtues (humility and courage), and vices (arrogance and inattention), the chapter turns to a consideration of objections to environmental virtue ethics. While many of these objections are readily answerable, they suggest that greater attention must be paid to political virtues, and to the role of institutions and social structures in shaping possibilities for acquiring and acting upon environmental virtues. There are also significant epistemic worries concerning the ability to identify environmental virtues and exemplars. The chapter closes with a consideration of ways in which appeals to psychology and the social sciences might enrich and enhance environmental virtue ethics, and help to overcome its remaining epistemic problems.

Keywords: environment, courage, virtue ethics, environmental virtue, humility, psychology

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