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2016 | 9 | 2 | 24 – 41

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Environmentalism as a political philosophy for the Anthropocene

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The paper is a philosophical reflection on the reciprocal conditionality of social, economic, political and environmental crisis tendencies of the global industrial civilization which reciprocal intensification reveals existential risk not only to the current level of the development of the civilization, but also to humanity as biological specie. Nowadays environmental risks could break out into ecological and also political catastrophe on global scale. Based on U. Beck’s theory of world risk society this paper focuses on critical analysis of reasons why global environmental crisis still not lead to the world wide environmental movement for change of basic imperatives of world economic-political system on governmental nor nongovernmental level. The author assumes that these are the ways in which societies deal with the imbalance between the increasing population and its consumption and the limits of resources of a particular place, which in the long term determines the sustainability and stability of the economic-political system in a specific ecosystem. All of the life strategies have environmental as well as social and political consequences, which in turn influence the environment. The author defends a thesis according to which the environmental responsibility must be understood as a political and legal more than a moral and ethical category and works with the proposition that philosophy adequate to current threats must be a political and in the same time environmental philosophy. A new perspective which opened up for philosophical reflection by the global environmental crisis shows the need to redefine humanism, enlarge its purpose with environmental assumptions of realization of human rights along with the environmental responsibility. This new humanism should be oriented on creation and preservation of assumptions for long term sustainability of inevitable preconditions for realization of basic human rights, which means theoretical and practical recognition of rights to access water, food and shelter for all human beings. New humanism should be broadened on environmental responsibility of all human activities. Otherwise could global environmental catastrophe lead to abandon the concept of universal human rights and bring wave of renationalization as another political catastrophe.


  • Katedra filozofie, Filozofická fakulta UKF v Nitre, B. Slančíkovej 1, 949 74 Nitra, Slovak Republic


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