Gluttony, Arrogance, Greed, and Apathy: An Exploration of Environmental Vice

Cafaro, Philip
Cafaro, P., Sandler, R. (eds.) (2004): Environmental Virtue Ethics. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, pages 135-158

Traditional virtue ethics recognized that human flourishing depends on a supportive social environment. Hence traditional virtue theories defined vices or character defects in terms of their harm to both individuals and society. An environmental virtue ethics builds on the recognition that human flourishing also depends on appreciating and sustaining healthy, biologically diverse natural environments. This article discusses four key environmental vices that harm vicious people, the human and nonhuman beings around them, and the environment broadly considered. Such an exploration suggests both self-interested and altruistic reasons to improve our environmental behavior.