Western environmental ethics place tremendous value on “natural” places to the detriment of the built environment most people inhabit. What might a philosophy that recognizes the value of human activity offer to environmentalism?
The built environment that people inhabit has traditionally been left out of environmental thought, creating a dramatic divide between the types of environment we consider worth protecting and those we find disposable.
Photo by Fotolia/Rupert
Steven Vogel argues in “Thinking Like a Mall” that the traditional distinction between the natural and the artificial in environmental ethics is not merely unhelpful but potentially harmful to the goal of protecting the environment.