By Jonathan Hughes
This publication offers a scientific problem to the widely-held view that Marxism is not able to deal appropriately with environmental concerns. Jonathan Hughes responds to criticisms of Marx's thought of historical past from environmental theorists, and provides an interpretation and reconstruction of key Marxian techniques, designed to teach that the idea don't need to have destructive ecological effects. He argues that the communist precept "to every one in accordance with his wishes" needs to leisure on a perception of wishes which may be happy by means of a modest and ecologically-feasible enlargement of efficient output.
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Extra resources for Ecology and Historical Materialism (Studies in Marxism and Social Theory)
They argue that the interests or goods of collective entities such as species, insofar as they exist at all, are reducible to those of their present, or present and future members. See Attfield 1991, pp. 150–1; Attfield 1995, pp. 24–5; Taylor 1986, pp. 69–70; and, for a rejoinder, Johnson 1993, p. 183. Attfield further suggests (1995, p. 26) that the patterns of growth of collectivities such as species could only count as analogues to those of individuals, and hence ground notions of flourishing and interests, if some counterpart could be found for the genetic determination of individuals’ capacities – but surely these capacities and patterns are determined by the genetic make-up of their constituent members, and in any case it is unclear to me why the mode of determination should be regarded as important.
1 Flourishing and moral considerability Grundmann’s argument for an anthropocentric approach is based on the supposition that the non-anthropocentrist must distinguish between states of nature which are ‘normal’ and thus to be preserved, and states which are ‘pathological’ and thus to be avoided. 31 Standard accounts of ecological normality in terms of ‘balance’ or ‘diversity’ only make sense, according to Grundmann, in relation to human interests. One aspect of Grundmann’s argument that might be questioned is his identification of ‘normality’ as the focus of a non-anthropocentric approach, but this does not affect his overall argument.
O’Neill 1993, p. 23. 147 See, for example, Singer 1993, p. 277. Attfield 1991, pp. 153–4, 205. Ecological problems: definition and evaluation 25 survival, the fact that we have goods of our own and a capacity to realise them, our common evolutionary origin, and our dependence upon the healthy functioning of the biosphere. 48 The question is: which ones are relevant to the question of moral considerability? And here Singer’s answer again seems plausible: the ‘interests’ or goods that matter morally are those that matter from the point of view of the entity in question.