Forgivingness, pessimism, and environmental citizenship

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Our attitudes toward human culpability for environmental problems have moral and emotional import, influencing our basic capacities for believing cooperative action and environmental repair are even possible. In this paper, I suggest that having the virtue of forgivingness as a response to environmental harm is generally good for moral character, preserving us from morally risky varieties of pessimism and despair. I define forgivingness as a forward-looking disposition based on Robin Dillon’s conception of preservative forgiveness, a preparation to be deeply and abidingly accepting yet expecting human error. As with other virtues, however, preservative forgiveness is available to some of us more than others; in the second half of this paper, I consider the deep challenge posed by rational pessimism, especially on the part of those who have been given many reasons not to hope for the very moral improvements for which they strive. I conclude that for those of us with the power roles and personal resources especially conducive to environmental activism, preservative forgiveness inclines us to remain engaged in environmental activism with fellow flawed human beings, recognizing our own mutual depredations while committing us to cooperatively respond.
Categories
Reprint years
2010
PhilPapers/Archive ID
NORFPA-2
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-01-09
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
[Book Review] Forgiveness and Mercy. [REVIEW]Murphy, Jeffrie G. & Hampton, Jean

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Perpetual Struggle.Norlock, Kathryn J.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2009-06-15

Total views
147 ( #18,308 of 39,516 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
30 ( #15,970 of 39,516 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.