Why virtue is good for you: the politics of ecological eudaimonism

Hannis, M (2019) 'Why virtue is good for you: the politics of ecological eudaimonism.' In: Bai, H and Chang, D, eds. Ecological Virtues. University of Regina Press. (Forthcoming)


A eudaimonist interpretation of ecological virtue is both conceptually and practically preferable to non-eudaimonist or hybrid understandings. Concern for our own flourishing as human beings, properly understood as rational but interdependent and ecologically situated creatures, is sufficient to ground a fully formed and operationalisable conception of ecological virtue. Adding in ideas of the intrinsic value of the nonhuman world is unnecessary as well as meta-ethically problematic. Ecocentric objections to the alleged anthropocentrism of ecological eudaimonism rest on a false dichotomy between human and non-human interests. Ecological eudaimonism also has important strategic and political value since from this perspective, an appeal to virtue is not a moral injunction to act contrary to one’s self-interest, but an invitation to consider more deeply what that self-interest really consists in. Only if ecological virtue is understood to contribute directly to human flourishing can such appeals be coherent or effective, particularly if they are to be linked with concepts of citizenship. A eudaimonist perspective makes clear that egalitarianism may be seen as an important ecological virtue, reflecting insights long held in some ‘non-Western’ cultures.

Item Type: Book Chapter or Section
Keywords: ethics, environment, virtue, consumption, eudaimonism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2019 14:36
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 14:36
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