EMPIRICAL TAXONOMY OF ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICAL ARCHETYPES

Economists usually assume that the private ethical system of individuals is Utilitarian. However, one finds a much broader range of ethical positions in the environmental ethics literature. Moreover, environmental policy debates seem to elicit alternative ethical systems. It would therefore seem prudent to increase our understanding of the role played by alternative environmental ethical systems. In this study we follow some descriptive ethical studies in examining the empirical ethical position of people based on a broad cross section of the American public. We review some taxonomic literature in environmental ethics and develop a conceptual model of the formation of environmental values. We then use canonical correlation to investigate the existence of environmental values and their relationship to childhood experiences. We find four ethical systems linked to four different "types" of people. One of the ethical systems is decidedly spiritual and one seems rather ill-defined or indifferent towards nature. The other two systems show anthropocentric values, one more conservation minded, one more use minded.


Issue Date:
2003
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/22034
Total Pages:
36
Series Statement:
Selected Paper




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-24

Fulltext:
Download fulltext
PDF

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
1
2
3
 
(Not yet reviewed)