- Law, environmental policy and Kantian philosophy (2012)
- Are Kantian philosophy and its principle of respect for persons inadequate to the protection of environmental values? This paper answers this question by elucidating how Kantian ethics can take environmental values seriously. In the period that starts with the Critique of Judgment in 1790 and ends with the Metaphysics of Morals in 1797, the subject would have been approached by Kant in a different manner; although the respect that we may owe to non-human nature is still grounded in our duties to mankind, the basis for such respect stems from nature’s aesthetic properties, and the duty to preserve nature lies in our duties to ourselves. Compared to the “market paradigm”, as it is called by Gillroy (the reference is to a conception of a public policy based on a criterion of economic efficiency or utility), Kantian philosophy can offer a better explanation of the relationship between environmental policy and the theory of justice. Kantian justice defines the “just state” as the one that protects the moral capacities of its “active” citizens, as presented in the first Part of the Metaphysics of Morals. In the Kantian paradigm, the environmental risk becomes a “public” concern. That means it is not subsumed under an individual decision, based on a calculus.