29 Pages

The Urban Blind Spot in Environmental Ethics

WithAndrew Light

In the past 30 years environmental ethics and political ecology have emerged as two of the most vibrant and exciting areas of applied philosophy. Several journals and hundreds of books testify to their growing importance inside and outside philosophical circles. But surprisingly very little has ever been said, in particular, by environmental ethicists about cities, and what has been written is largely negative. This contribution offers an explanation for why the urban environment has been ignored in environmental ethics; second, provides a series of ecological and social arguments for why urban issues cannot be overlooked in a complete environmental ethic; and finally, offers an example of the sorts of issues that an expanded environmental ethic, inclusive of urban environments, would need to focus on.