Environmental Ethics as Environmental Etiquette: Toward an Ethics-Based Epistemology

Cheney, Jim; Weston, Anthony
Environmental Ethics Vol. 21/2 (1999), pages 115-134

An ethics-based epistemology is necessary for environmental philosophy—a sharply different approach from the epistemology-based ethics that the field has inherited, mostly implicitly, from mainstream ethics. In this paper, we try to uncover this inherited epistemology and point toward an alternative. In section two, we outline a general contrast between an ethics-based epistemology and an epistemology-based ethics. In section three, we examine the relationship between ethics and epistemology in an ethics-based epistemology, drawing extensively on examples from indigenous cultures. We briefly explore several striking implications of an ethics-based epistemology in sections four and five.