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Journal Articles Ethics in Progress Year : 2014

Introduction: Interdisciplinary Foundations for Environmental and Sustainability Ethics


Despite four decades of intense development in the field of professional environmental ethics, environmental problems pose ever increasing ethical challenges. The discipline continues to undergo a transition from focusing on theoretical questions such as what kinds of beings deserve moral standing toward greater inclusion of the multifaceted dimensions of sustainability and environmental issues and policy formation. In the process, new problems emerge. For instance, research on the problem of climate change from an ethical perspective creates room for the development of a new branch of ethics—climate ethics—which potentially operates in a distinctive theoretical framework. Additionally, environmental ethics has become much more pluralistic and multidisciplinary, drawing new insights from ecology and the social sciences. Sustainability both challenges and gives shape to the discipline of environmental ethics by blurring classical distinctions such as that of anthropocentrism, biocentrism, and ecocentrism, while bringing attention to important theoretical dimensions of the ecological, social, and economic. These three dimensions are in turn informed by matters pertaining to human cognition and perception, highlighting the complex and multidisciplinary nature of the emerging conversations. This special volume presents new trends that arise at the intersection of ethics, sustainability and environmental research. Discussions of the crossroads between sustainability, environmental thought, and ethics include issues such as environmental history, environmental inequalities, social and environmental value conflicts, inter-generational justice and climate ethics.


Dates and versions

hal-01463918 , version 1 (09-02-2017)



Malgorzata Dereniowska, Jason Matzke. Introduction: Interdisciplinary Foundations for Environmental and Sustainability Ethics. Ethics in Progress, 2014, Special Issue, 5 (1), pp.07--32. ⟨10.14746/eip.2014.1.1⟩. ⟨hal-01463918⟩
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