Prediction and Rolston's Environmental Ethics: Lessons from the Philosophy of Science

TitlePrediction and Rolston's Environmental Ethics: Lessons from the Philosophy of Science
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsMcKinney, WJ
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Volume2
Pagination429-440
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsECOLOGY , ECOLOGY, , ENVIRONMENTAL , ethics , Ethics, , RISK , RISK, , SCIENCE
AbstractRolston (1988) argues that in order to act ethically in the environment, moral agents must assume that their actions are potentially harmful, and then strive to prove otherwise before implementing that action. In order to determine whether or not an action in the environment is harmful requires the tools of applied epistemology in order to act in accord with Rolston's ethical prescription. This link between ethics and epistemology demands a closer look at the relationship between confirmation theory, particularly notions of plausibility, in the philosophy of science and environmental ethics. Upon taking this look, I conclude that, at least logically, we are not better off assuming that actions are maximally risky (Rolston) than when we assume minimal risk.
NotesCover Date: October 1996.Source Info: 2(4), 429-440. Language: English. Journal Announcement: 31-2. Subject: ECOLOGY; ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS; RISK; SCIENCE. Subject Person: ROLSTON, H. Update Code: 20090226.
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