Self-Defeating Environmental Activism

Self-Defeating Environmental Activism

When we say, “the environment,” we usually mean the natural world and its processes, the plants and animals which we collectively call the biosphere. It is an age-old debate in philosophy, however, whether human beings themselves are part of “the environment” in the same way that every other living creature is. Because human beings are self-aware and uniquely capable of intentionally making permanent changes to their surroundings, many theorists have considered humans to be the only organism on earth that is in some important way not of the earth.

Among other things, humans not being part of the “natural” world means that it is possible for the interests of those two entitiesnature and humans—to diverge. In this view, the interests of humanity are not just separate from the rest of the natural world, but often in opposition…

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