DPhil Seminar (Wednesday - Week 5, HT22)

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Ecotage, or the intentional destruction of property conducted with the aim of furthering environmental ends, is not much studied in environmental ethics. This is surprising, given that numerous environmentalist groups engage in or encourage ecotage as a legitimate form of environmental action. Greenpeace, for example, recently dropped boulders into busy fishing grounds in order to damage the nets of bottom-trawlers; Andreas Malm, a prominent environmentalist, has recently called upon us to blow up oil pipelines. Environmental ethics, then, must catch up with environmentalist practice.  

When, if ever, might ecotage be justified? This talk argues that instances of ecotage are pro tanto justified insofar as they are instances of effective and proportionate other-defence. In arguing towards this conclusion, this talk elucidates the conditions under which instances of ecotage qualify as instances of effective and proportionate other-defence, and ventures some remarks on when such acts may be overall justified.

Should we blow up a pipeline? Well: maybe.  

This meeting will be hybrid. Please contact mariona.miyata-sturm@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for a link.