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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

It is uncontroversial that character ethics are indispensible to environmental ethics. What is contested is whether virtue ethics, understood as a distinctive type of normative theory, could provide a viable environmental ethic. In response to this concern, this chapter (1) explicates what is distinctive about a virtue ethics approach to normativity within environmental ethics—that is, that how things matter (moral status) is explicated through the virtues; (2) demonstrates that a virtue ethics normative framework can accommodate whatever is the correct account of the value of nonhuman nature; (3) argues that a pluralistic approach to moral status, such as virtue ethics’, is indispensible to environmental ethics; (4) articulates a plausible virtue ethics principle of right action and decision making. Virtue ethics should be regarded as a viable approach to environmental ethics, and it should be considered alongside other, more familiar, approaches such as deontology and consequentialism.

Keywords: environmental ethics, virtue ethics, ethical theory, character, normativity, moral status derivative

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