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The Wild and the WickedOn Nature and Human Nature$
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Benjamin Hale

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035408

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035408.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Return to the Paleocene

Return to the Paleocene

(p.21) 1 Return to the Paleocene
The Wild and the Wicked

Benjamin Hale

The MIT Press

This chapter introduces the reader to philosophical and ethical inquiry by forging a distinction between descriptive and normative claims, as well as explanatory and justificatory arguments. It utilizes cases of paleontological discovery and climate communication to argue that “catastrophe reasoning” about climate change is not only politically but also ethically problematic. In this respect, it relies on the current climate discussion to frame the general argument criticized in this book: that the mere demonstration of nature’s value is enough to generate obligations to protect nature.

Keywords:   Normative, Descriptive, Explanation, Justification, Paleontology, climate change, catastrophe frame

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