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Environmental Stewardship, Moral Psychology and Gardens


  • Marcello di Paola


Vast and pervasive environmental problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss call every individual to active stewardship. Their magnitude and causal and strategic structures, however, pose powerful challenges to our moral psychology. Stewardship may feel overburdening, and appear hopeless. This may lead to widespread moral and political disengagement. This article proposes a resolve to garden practices as a way out of that danger, and describes the ways in which it will motivate individuals to so act as to coordinate on behavioural patterns that will significantly alleviate grave, but seemingly distant and intractable environmental quandaries.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcello di Paola, 2013. "Environmental Stewardship, Moral Psychology and Gardens," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 22(4), pages 503-521, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev22:ev2223

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baylor L. Johnson, 2003. "Ethical Obligations in a Tragedy of the Commons," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 12(3), pages 271-287, August.
    2. Jennifer Welchman, 2012. "A Defence of Environmental Stewardship," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 21(3), pages 297-316, August.
    3. Ted Benton, 2008. "Environmental Values and Human Purposes," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 17(2), pages 201-220, May.
    4. Sarah Hards, 2011. "Social Practice and the Evolution of Personal Environmental Values," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(1), pages 23-42, February.
    5. Jamieson, Dale, 2007. "When Utilitarians Should Be Virtue Theorists," Utilitas, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 160-183, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marcello Di Paola & Mirco Daniel Garasic, 2013. "The Dark Side of Sustainability: Avoiding and Shortening Lives in the Anthropocene," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(2), pages 59-81.

    More about this item


    Moral psychology; environmental stewardship; gardens; resolve; virtue theory; coordination;

    JEL classification:

    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q26 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Recreational Aspects of Natural Resources


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