eCite Digital Repository

Understanding Historical and Contemporary Ethics and Earth Ethics

Citation

Wood, G, Understanding Historical and Contemporary Ethics and Earth Ethics, Inspiring Earth Ethics: Linking Values and Action, Australian Earth Laws Alliance, M Maloney, J Grieves, B Adams and E Brindal (ed), Banyo, Queensland, Australia, pp. 7-12. ISBN 9780648713708 (2019) [Other Book Chapter]


Preview
PDF
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
519Kb

Preview
PDF
Pending copyright assessment - Request a copy
84Kb

Official URL: https://www.earthlaws.org.au/our-programs/earth-et...

Abstract

This is an account of a journey from an ancient understanding of Earth Ethics, through a period of ‘forgetting’ about the true nature of ethics by many within so-called ‘WEIRD’ cultures, and back to a contemporary ‘remembering’ of that ancient understanding of Earth Ethics. When compared to all of human history, the limiting of the sphere of ethical responsibility to humans is a relatively recent phenomenon. This phenomenon is due to the perceived diminishing of the connection between humans and their environment that emerged with the move from hunter-gathering to settled agriculture and the subsequent development of towns and cities that all began around 10,000 BCE. Before that humans existed in small egalitarian groups closely connected to their environment. Ethics among these humans incorporated the ethical status of the environment in which they lived. With agriculture emerged a period of human history in which the understanding of ethical responsibilities to the environment were forgotten among many humans. But other humans did not forget. Ancient understanding of humanity’s ethical relationship to the environment is remembered among the Indigenous cultures of Australia, along with other Indigenous cultures of the world. Today as human impacts grow, some people are coming to realise that the perceived diminishing of the ethical connection between humans and their environment was just that, a perception, and more importantly a mistaken perception. Humanity has always been intimately connected with the environment within which it exists. Only now are members of ‘WEIRD’ cultures realising that the sphere of ethical responsibility does not end at the boundary of the human world. Rather the sphere of ethical responsibility extends to the Earth as a whole. These humans are remembering a forgotten truth: a truth preserved by the custodians of this ancient wisdom, now being rediscovered by ‘WEIRD’ culture under the name Earth Ethics.

Item Details

Item Type:Other Book Chapter
Keywords:Earth ethics, Indigenous ethics, Western ethics
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Environmental philosophy
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Environmental ethics
UTAS Author:Wood, G (Dr Graham Wood)
ID Code:136386
Year Published:2019
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-12-17
Last Modified:2020-01-17
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page