ЛИБЕРАЛИЗМ И ПРИРОДА1
Number of pages
SourcePoliticheskaia Nauka, 2, 2, (2010), pp. 88-108
Article / Letter to editor
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Politicologie t/m 2019
SubjectDistributional Conflicts in a Globalizing World: Consequences for State-Market-Civil Society Arrangements
Are liberal and environmental concerns incompatible? Distinguishing between classical and social liberalism, and between environmentalism (seeing nature as resources) and ecologism (seeing it as in itself valuable), this text discusses the areas of genuine conflict. Three such areas are identified: 1) liberalism, despite its preference for ethical neutrality, ignores the non-political, and has thus never developed any other notion of nature than as the other of humanity; 2) liberalism seems to be incurably anthropocentric; and 3) liberalism supports individual property rights to the disadvantage of ecologically minded ethics. Li- beral authors have, over the past 25 years, adopted many environmentalist and even ecologist ideas: they have made room for an appreciation of nature as more than resources only, as important to others than presently existing humans only, and as worth protecting against undesirable consequencesofpropertyrights.There is no fundamental contradiction between affirming human dignity through individual emancipation, and protecting nature; the two may even reinforce one another. There remain contradictions between liberalism and ecologism as political theories: liberalism is by definition an individualist theory stressing individual rights including property rights, and it embraces moral pluralism, thus by definition rejecting the idea of a unique (ecological) road to salvation.
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