Het zwijgen van de natuur

Filosofie En Praktijk 17:187-199 (1996)
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Abstract
Een respectvolle houding ten opzichte van de natuur houdt noodzakelijkerwijs ook een zekere distantie in. ('The silence of nature') If we pretent to speak with nature's voice or in on nature's behalf we risk ventriloguising. A respectful attitude towards nature also requires acknowledging the distance between us and nature, recognize that nature does not speak. But nature's silence does have something to say to us. In this paper, I analyze the debate in Dutch environmental philosophy between moral realism of Wim Zweers and Wouter Achterberg, and the social constructivist position of Jozef Keulartz and others. It is argued that even though social constructivists rightfully argue (against moral realism) that there exist multiple moral interpretations of the meaning of nature, that does not mean that 'nature does not exist'. This paper instead argues that a hermeneutic environmental ethic can do justice both to the fact that meanings of environment are culturally mediated and yet also do justice to the moral experience that 'nature' has moral weight.
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Archival date: 2015-09-07
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