A Case for Decision-Maker Obligation Based Justification of Environmental Policy

Robertson, Jamie Kathleen
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University of Guelph

The environment is seen by different people as being valuable for different reasons. A pervasive debate in Environmental Philosophy revolves around which values should hold sway in the case of conflicts between the various kinds of value associated with the environment. This debate is relevant to, and fuelled by, debates how human communities should make decisions about the environment. By exploring the methods for balancing the various forms of environmental value proposed by Bryan G. Norton, Mark Sagoff, and David Pearce, I will argue that, as of yet, there has been little progress towards constructing a morally satisfactory basis for giving particular environmental values more weight than others. I will argue that to the extent that decision-maker obligations constitute moral obligations to the community, they can act as a basis for justifying giving some environmental values precedence over others in the decision-making context.

Environmental Policy, Moral Value, Governance, Environment, Environmental Value, Moral Justification, Policy Making, Applied Ethics, Mark Sagoff, David Pearce