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Ecologism, environmental protection, and liberal–democratic decision–making

Ecologism, environmental protection, and liberal–democratic decision–making This article examines the relationship between political liberalism and environmental philosophy. The goal of the study is to determine the extent to which the concerns of environmental philosophers - especially the views associated with "deep ecology" or "ecologism" - may be addressed within a liberal–democratic framework of political justification. Is it permissible for a citizen to exercise political power over other citizens on the basis of a comprehensive view of the world (e.g., ecologism) that those other citizens might reasonably reject? I argue that, in a number of ways, political liberalism can indeed accommodate citizens who wish to bring their environmentalist commitments, including politically radical commitments, into the public political forum. But there is a limit to this accommodation. In cases of disagreement over fundamental, constitutional questions about how to organize human society, political liberalism requires citizens to restrain their appeal to the truth claims of ecologism and related worldviews. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Interdisciplinary Environmental Review Inderscience Publishers

Ecologism, environmental protection, and liberal–democratic decision–making

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Publisher
Inderscience Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. All rights reserved
ISSN
1521-0227
eISSN
2042-6992
DOI
10.1504/IER.2003.053895
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between political liberalism and environmental philosophy. The goal of the study is to determine the extent to which the concerns of environmental philosophers - especially the views associated with "deep ecology" or "ecologism" - may be addressed within a liberal–democratic framework of political justification. Is it permissible for a citizen to exercise political power over other citizens on the basis of a comprehensive view of the world (e.g., ecologism) that those other citizens might reasonably reject? I argue that, in a number of ways, political liberalism can indeed accommodate citizens who wish to bring their environmentalist commitments, including politically radical commitments, into the public political forum. But there is a limit to this accommodation. In cases of disagreement over fundamental, constitutional questions about how to organize human society, political liberalism requires citizens to restrain their appeal to the truth claims of ecologism and related worldviews.

Journal

Interdisciplinary Environmental ReviewInderscience Publishers

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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