Ideals of Human Excellence and Preserving Natural Environments

Hill, Thomas E. Jr.
Environmental Ethics Vol. 5/3 (1983), pages 211-224

The moral significance of preserving natural environments is not entirely an issue of rights and social utility, for a person’s attitude toward nature may be importantly connected with virtues or human excellences. The question is, “What sort of person would destroy the natural environment—or even see its value solely in cost/benefit terms?” The answer I suggest is that willingness to do so may well reveal the absence of traits which are a natural basis for a proper humility, self-acceptance, gratitude, and appreciation of the good in others.