•  365
    The Nazi Engineers: Reflections on Technological Ethics in Hell
    Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3): 571-582. 2011.
    Engineers, architects, and other technological professionals designed the genocidal death machines of the Third Reich. The death camp operations were highly efficient, so these technological professionals knew what they were doing: they were, so to speak, good engineers. As an educator at a technological university, I need to explain to my students—future engineers and architects—the motivations and ethical reasoning of the technological professionals of the Third Reich. I need to educate my stu…Read more
  •  198
    In this essay, I use encounters with the white-tailed deer of Fire Island to explore the “call of the wild”—the attraction to value that exists in a natural world outside of human control. Value exists in nature to the extent that it avoids modification by human technology. Technology “fixes” the natural world by improving it for human use or by restoring degraded ecosystems. Technology creates a “new world,” an artifactual reality that is far removed from the “wildness” of nature. The technolog…Read more
  •  125
    A pragmatic reconsideration of anthropocentrism
    Environmental Ethics 21 (4): 377-390. 1999.
    For much of its brief history, the field of environmental ethics has been critical of anthropocentrism. I here undertake a pragmatic reconsideration of anthropocentrism. In the first part of this essay, I explain what a pragmatic reconsideration of anthropocentrism means. I differentiate two distinct pragmatic strategies, one substantive and one methodological, and I adopt methodological pragmatism as my guiding principle. In the second part of this essay, I examine a case study of environmental…Read more
  •  109
    The Problem of Ecological Restoration
    Environmental Ethics 18 (2): 222-224. 1996.
  •  94
    Geoengineering, Restoration, and the Construction of Nature
    Environmental Ethics 37 (4): 485-498. 2015.
    An old book by children’s author Dr. Seuss can be an inspiration to examine the ethical and ontological meaning of geoengineering. My argument is based on my critique of the process of ecological restoration as the creation of an artifactual reality. When humanity intentionally interferes with the processes and entities of nature, we change the ontological reality of the natural world. The world becomes a garden, or a zoo, an environment that must be continually managed to meet the goals of huma…Read more
  •  87
    Weston and I will be forever linked in the field of environmental philosophy because of an exchange of essays that were published in the journal Environmental Ethics in 1985 and 1987 on the subject...
  •  84
    Nature as Subject: Human Obligation and Natural Community
    Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 1996.
    Written by one of the instrumental figures in environmental ethics, Nature as Subject traces the development of an ethical policy that is centered not on human beings, but on itself. Katz applies this idea to contemporary environmental problems, introducing themes of justice, domination, imperialism, and the Holocaust. This volume will stand as a foundational work for environmental scholars, government and industry policy makers, activists, and students in advanced philosophy and environmental s…Read more
  •  84
    Further Adventures in the Case against Restoration
    Environmental Ethics 34 (1): 67-97. 2012.
    Ecological restoration has been a topic for philosophical criticism for three decades. In this essay, I present a discussion of the arguments against ecological restoration and the objections raised against my position. I have two purposes in mind: to defend my views against my critics, and to demonstrate that the debate over restoration reveals fundamental ideas about the meaning of nature, ideas that are necessary for the existence of any substantive environmentalism. I discuss the possibility…Read more
  •  83
    Environmental Pragmatism (edited book)
    Routledge. 1996.
    Environmental pragmatism is a new strategy in environmental thought. It argues that theoretical debates are hindering the ability of the environmental movement to forge agreement on basic policy imperatives. This new direction in environmental thought moves beyond theory, advocating a serious inquiry into the merits of moral pluralism. Environmental pragmatism, as a coherent philosophical position, connects the methodology of classical American pragmatic thought to the explanation, solution and …Read more
  •  83
    De-extinction raises anew ontological and epistemological problems that have engaged environmental philosophers for decades. This essay re-examines these issues to provide a fuller understanding—and a critique—of de-extinction. One of my claims is that de-extinction as a philosophical problem merely recycles old issues and debates in the field (hence, “zombie” arguments). De-extinction is a project that arises out of the assertion of human domination of the natural world. Thus the acceptance of …Read more
  •  64
    Anne Frank's Tree: Thoughts on Domination and the Paradox of Progress
    Ethics, Place and Environment 13 (3): 283-293. 2010.
    Consider the significance of Anne Frank's horse chestnut tree. During her years of hiding in the secret annex, Anne thought of the tree as a symbol of freedom, happiness, and peace. As a stand-in for all of Nature, Anne saw the tree as that part of the universe that could not be destroyed by human evil. In this essay, I use Anne's tree as a starting point for a discussion of the domination of both nature and humanity. I connect the concept of domination to the policy of ecological restoration, t…Read more
  •  64
    Abstract:Should the process of ecological restoration be considered a type of moral reparation? In a recent issue of this journal, Ben Almassi (2017) has argued that ecological restoration should be understood as a moral repair, i.e., as "a model for rebuilding the moral conditions of relationships" (20). Ideas of restorative justice and moral repair are appropriate to address human injustice and wrongdoing. But these concepts are vacuous and lose their meaning when addressing the ethics of huma…Read more
  •  62
  •  61
    In this essay, I use encounters with the white-tailed deer of Fire Island to explore the “call of the wild”—the attraction to value that exists in a natural world outside of human control. Value exists in nature to the extent that it avoids modification by human technology. Technology “fixes” the natural world by improving it for human use or by restoring degraded ecosystems. Technology creates a “new world,” an artifactual reality that is far removed from the “wildness” of nature. The technolog…Read more
  •  55
    Organism, community, and the "substitution problem"
    Environmental Ethics 7 (3): 241-256. 1985.
    Holistic accounts of the natural environment in environmental ethics fail to stress the distinction between the concepts of comnlunity and organism. Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic” adds to this confusion, for it can be interpreted as promoting either a community or an organic model of nature. The difference between the two concepts lies in the degree of autonomy possessed by constituent entities within the holistic system. Members within a community are autonomous, while the parts of an organism are…Read more
  •  52
    Utilitarianism and Preservation
    Environmental Ethics 1 (4): 357-364. 1979.
    In “The Concept of the Irreplaceable,” John N. Martin claims that utilitarian arguments can explain the environmentalist position concerning the preservation of natural objects as long as human attitudes toward preservation are considered along with the direct benefits of environmental preservation. But this type of utilitarian justification is biased in favor of the satisfaction of human preferences. No ethical theory which calculates goodness in terms of the amount of human satisfaction can pr…Read more
  •  52
    In this essay, I discuss the comparison between the restoration of natural environments and the Nazi project to develop a pure homeland for native species and authentic Aryan humans. There exists a metaphorical comparison between Nazi eliminationist policies regarding specific human populations and the eradication of invasive and non-native species in ecological restorations. Moreover, there are substantive environmental policies of the Nazi regime that appear to be similar to the goals and meth…Read more
  •  51
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Ethics & the Environment 7.1 (2002) 138-146 [Access article in PDF] Understanding Moral Limits in the Duality of Artifacts and NatureA Reply to Critics Eric Katz Ned Hettinger and Wayne Ouderkirk present some cogent criticisms of my ideas in environmental ethics, especially those ideas closely associated with my attacks on the process of ecological restoration. Both trace the source of my alleged problems to a pernicious dualism of n…Read more
  •  45
    The Challenger Tragedy: A Case Study in Organizational Communication and Professional Ethics
    with Norbert Elliot and Robert Lynch
    Business and Professional Ethics Journal 12 (2): 91-108. 1993.
  •  44
  •  40
    A Pragmatic Reconsideration of Anthropocentrism
    Environmental Ethics 21 (4): 377-390. 1999.
    For much of its brief history, the field of environmental ethics has been critical of anthropocentrism. I here undertake a pragmatic reconsideration of anthropocentrism. In the first part of this essay, I explain what a pragmatic reconsideration of anthropocentrism means. I differentiate two distinct pragmatic strategies, one substantive and one methodological, and I adopt methodological pragmatism as my guiding principle. In the second part of this essay, I examine a case study of environmental…Read more
  •  38
    Buffalo-Killing and the Valuation of Species
    Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 8 114-123. 1986.
  •  37
  •  36
    Artefacts and Functions: A Note on the Value of Nature
    Environmental Values 2 (3): 223-232. 1993.
    This paper examines and compares the ontological and axiological character of artefacts – human creations – with nonhuman natural entities. The essential difference between artefacts and natural entities is that the former are always the result of human intention and design, while the latter are independent of human purpose. Artefacts have functions ; natural entities do not. The connection to human intentional purpose implies a different kind of value for artefacts. Artefacts are evaluated sole…Read more
  •  34
    In the 1920s and 1930s, an attempt was made to resurrect the aurochs (Bos primigenius primigenius), the extinct wild ancestor of contemporary domestic cattle. The back-bred species that was produced are called ‘Heck cattle’. I argue that the attempt to create the Heck cattle as a form of resurrected aurochs, and their subsequent use in rewilding projects (as in the Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands) is a prime example of the continuous human project of the domination of nature. The consider…Read more
  •  33
    The Problem of Ecological Restoration
    Environmental Ethics 18 (2): 222-224. 1996.
  •  32
    Anthropocentric Indirect Arguments: Return of the Plastic-tree Zombies
    Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (3): 264-266. 2014.
    Forget Aldo Leopold. Or Holmes Rolston, III, or Baird Callicott. Forget Arne Naess. I vote for Martin H. Krieger as the most influential environmental philosopher of all time. It has been over 40 y...