Defining and describing questions about Environmental Ethics, philosophers and things such as monism and pluralism

1. Define, describe and contrast the general difference between “moral monism” and
“moral pluralism” as presented by Christopher Stone (define each concept first, then
paraphrase and use examples to clarify your explications).
What does Stone mean when he “refuses to presume that all ethical activities are, in
all contexts, determined by the same features, or even subject to the same overarching
principles”?
(See class notes and pages 195 – 198)
a. Stone presents a contrast between different types of “Metaethical Assumptions”
What are the basic differences he presents between “Moral Monism” approaches
to ethics and possible “Moral Pluralist” approaches to ethics—especially as they
might relate to Environmental Ethics. (Note: he starts by making reference to
Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” to set up his contrast).
b. Describe with examples where helpful the additional considerations Stone
discusses such as the “variables” of Grain of Description, Mood, and Logical
(formal) structure.
c. Relate his overall motivation for discussion these options to approaching
Environmental Ethics (EE)—to “give good reasons” for whatever choices we
might make in a given context or situation.
2. Why does Callicott argue for “a single moral philosophy uniting multiple moral
communities” and what general direction does he suggest as a solution?
(See class notes and pages 214-216)
a. What are the problems Callicott has/identifies with Stone’s pluralistic approach to
Environmental Ethics (EE)?
b. What is Callicott’s proposed alternative to Stone’s approach to EE? Present and
describe his goal o f a “Single Moral Philosophy” which can provide unity or a
simpler criterion for approaching EE.
3. Why does Andrew Light argue against Callicott’s Theoretical Monism? Describe
Light’s reasons for adopting a “practical pluralism” using Arne Naess’s
Metatheoretical pluralism.
(See class notes and pages 238-244)
a. Present Light’s summary or take on Callicott’s perspective of Stone’s pluralistic
approach and his summary of Callicott’s monism.
b. Why does Light claim that Callicott’s “communitarian monism” is unable to
capture or achieve the same ends/goals as a pluralist approach? (See his example
from Brenann)
c. Present and describe Andrew Light’s approach he calls “Environmental
Pluralism.” How does he relate his approach to the work of Arne Naess?
d. Which approach(es) does Light want to avoid using (relativist issues)?

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