Get Being Human: Ethics, Environment, and Our Place in the World PDF

By Anna L. Peterson

ISBN-10: 0520226550

ISBN-13: 9780520226555

Being Human examines the complicated connections between conceptions of human nature, attitudes towards non-human nature, and ethics. Anna Peterson proposes an "ethical anthropology" that examines how principles of nature and humanity are certain jointly in ways in which form the very foundations of cultures. Peterson discusses mainstream Western understandings of what it capability to be human, in addition to possible choices to those views, and means that the development of a compelling, coherent environmental ethics will revise our principles not just approximately nature but additionally approximately what it ability to be human.

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Additional resources for Being Human: Ethics, Environment, and Our Place in the World

Example text

9 Religious ideas, in this view, are not wholly determined by their context, but neither are they entirely autonomous. "1° Building on Paul's ambiguous legacy, Augustine also contended with the dualistic tendencies in his faith and its view of human nature. Also like Paul, Augustine sought a balance between a conviction that the highest good lay in heaven, on the one hand, and a positive valuation of God's worldly creation, on the other. Augustine was a Manichean prior to his conversion to Christianity, and his ongoing ambivalence about the body and nature reflect his and his religion's struggle with the seductive appeal of extreme dualism.

In this perspective, as Mark Johnson puts it, "there is a rational structure to reality, independent of the beliefs of any particular people, and correct reason mirrors this rational s t r ~ c t u r e . Cor"~~ rect reason, in other words, can achieve the God's-eye perspective, the view from nowhere. For Objectivism, as Johnson continues, "the humanness (human embodiment) of understanding has no significant bearing on the nature of meaning and rationality. " In this view, meaning is objective insofar as it depends only on the relations between sign (symbol) and signified (things in the world).

Roman Catholicism, in contrast, holds a social, relational view of personhood that rests heavily on a particular interpretation of Biblical narratives and especially on a belief in humans' common origins as children of a benevolent creator-God and their shared task of helping to build the reign of God. Such narrative frameworks shape not only ideas but also behavior and communities, often reinforcicg the "naturalness" and correctness of certain ways of living (and, in turn, narratives themselves rest on existing worldviews and practices).

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Being Human: Ethics, Environment, and Our Place in the World by Anna L. Peterson


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