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Environmental Values

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Environmental Values

Gratitude to Nature

Tony Manela

Environmental Values 27 (2018): 623-644. doi: 10.3197/096327118X15343388356356

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In this article I consider the claim that we ought to be grateful to nature and argue that this claim is unjustified. I proceed by arguing against the two most plausible lines of reasoning for the claim that we ought to be grateful to nature: 1) that nature is a fitting or appropriate object of our gratitude, and 2) that gratitude to nature enhances, preserves or indicates in us the virtue of gratitude, a character trait we morally ought to have. My arguments against the first line of reasoning show it to be unsound, and my arguments against the second reveal that we actually have reasons to avoid being grateful to nature. If we have reasons to treat nature well, I show, these may be rooted in the appropriateness of attitudes like praise, appreciation or compassion, but not gratitude. I conclude by highlighting several implications my arguments entail about gratitude to entities other than nature and about environmental virtues other than gratitude.


Anthropomorphism, environment, gratitude, intention, nature, virtue

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Weak Panpsychism and Environmental Ethics. John Andrews

The Goat-stag and the Sphinx: The Place of the Virtues in Environmental Ethics Robert L. Chapman

Mercy as an Environmental Virtue. Matt Ferkany

Goodwill Toward Nature. Christopher Freiman

Intentional Recognition and Rationality. Val Plumwood

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Grounding Words and Flights of Imagination. Tom Greaves

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